Yes, that Jennings: Shooter strikes at the heart of legacy and tradition

Shooter Jennings at the Top Hat in Missoula. Jennings is an artist who deserves to be heard, if for no other reason than to appreciate the soul of country music. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)

After watching the Ken Burns’ PBS special on Country Music, I gained a greater appreciation of how this music has found its way into other genres.¬†Also how country has influenced and continues to influence musicians.

In the crowded field of country stars a few stand out for their influence; Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Each of these were larger than life and each, in their own way, rejected the established country model. Each was also vital to the development of rock.

Jennings came close to not making it when in 1958 as a member of Buddy Holly’s band he gave up his seat in the fateful airplane crash that killeg Holly and others. Jennings went on to carve out a place as outlaw country.

He and his wife, Jessi Colter, had a son in 1979. They name him Shooter.

Shooter Jennings has been carrying on the musical tradition of his two well known parents. He brought his band to Missoula to play the Top Hat. He clearly has embraced the tradition and is moving it in new directions.

Shooter Jennings is an artist who deserves to be heard, if for no other reason than to appreciate the soul of country music.