Soundchecks Music Reviews

Electric Rodeo

Universal South

shooterjennings.com

ELECTRIC RODEO
Shooter Jennings

review by Michael Lohr

Going To Carolina is one of the best rock songs written in a decade and it's one of the best Southern rock songs written in the last 25 years. In fact, Electric Rodeo is the best Southern rock record in the last 25 years. Funny thing for a supposedly country music group! Funnier still is that Shooter Jennings has recently gone out on tour with grunge legends Alice In Chains. And I say God bless and keep on truckin'. Electric Rodeo was made with equal parts rebellion, whiskey and marijuana. Hey Van Zandt brothers, listen to Electric Rodeo and get a clue how to make Southern rock once again, instead of your neo-gospel, red states, hick twang.

Just like outcast rebel, soul brother Hank Williams III, Shooter Jennings does music his way, and fuck the rest! And just like Hank and Hank's daddy, Shooter is the son of country outlaw Waylon Jennings. So he has the pedigree to be a badass, and indeed he's a badass with a great abundance of talent. Shooter gives a nod to his father on the tracks Some Rowdy Women, and Little White Lines, a dark ode the horror of drug addiction. While The Song Is Slipping Away is a sorrowful melody recounting a sense of loss.

The tune Hair Of The Dog is not a remake of the old 1970s' Nazareth hit, and talks about the emotional fallout of a one-night stand. Shooter's vocals are rugged; perfect this type of music. Electric Rodeo is the type of record you could hear being played in a Texas honky-tonk, a Memphis blues bar or a rock club in Chicago or New York. Shooter even tries his hand at activism in the tune Alligator Stomp (The Ballad Of Martin Luther Frog Jr). Probably the best song on Electric Rodeo is Bad Magick, a raucous swamp stomp, very reminiscent of an alien hybrid between Led Zeppelin and Molly Hatchet.

Call it rebel or alternative country or Southern rock; this is one of the best records I've heard in quite some time. Now all we need to do is get Shooter and the boys out on the road with Black Stone Cherry and the Drive-By Truckers. Now that would be a show to see.


Edited by Tony Lee
for PIGASUS Press