ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
Finally, this hour, country music passed down from father to son. Waylon Jennings was a stalwart of the outlaw country movement in the 1970s. He bucked the national conventions with a tougher sound and attitude. Jennings died in 2002, but his son, Shooter, has carried on his father's legacy. He's just released a collection of recordings that he made with his dad in the mid '90s, the last recordings ever by Waylon Jennings. Meredith Ochs has this review of "Waylon Forever."
(Soundbite of music)
MEREDITH OCHS: I've always thought of Waylon Jennings as something of a ghost. The man famously escaped death in 1959 when he gave up his seat on the plane that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper. That night haunted Jennings for the rest of his life. And indeed his voice possessed a haunted quality. Inside this CD, "Waylon Forever," is a photo-booth snap of Waylon with Buddy Holly, a reminder that his career, his contribution to outlaw country music, and even his son, Shooter, all happened on borrowed time.
(Soundbite of song, "Ain't Livin; Long Like This")
Mr. WAYLON JENNINGS: (Singing) We know the story how the wheel goes round, Don't let 'em take you to the man downtown. They got them all in the jailhouse baby, yeah. Ain't living long like this. Ain't living long like this, can I baby?
OCHS: In 1995, Waylon and Shooter Jennings began recording these tracks, revisiting some of Waylon's hits along with a handful of covers. Shooter was 16 at the time, no doubt inspired by his legendary dad to whom he bears an uncanny resemblance. But Waylon also found inspiration in the music that was influencing his son as he embarked on his own career. So not only is this Waylon's last CD, in a way it's also Shooter's first. More than a decade after leaving the project unfinished, Shooter brought the tracks to his band, The .357's, whose tough-edged playing reinvigorate Waylon classics like this one.
(Soundbite of song "Lonesome On'ry and Mean")
Mr. WAYLON JENNINGS: (Singing) Now her hair was jet black, And her name was Codene. Thought she was the cream of the Basin Street Queens, She got tired of that smoky whine dream, Tired of being lonesome, on'ry, and mean.
OCHS: This CD, "Waylon Forever," honors the outlaw legacy of Waylon Jennings. And with howling steel guitar and plenty of spooky reverb on the vocals, these songs do not let you forget that Waylon really is a ghost now.
(Soundbite of song "Are You Ready for the Country")
Mr. WAYLON JENNINGS: (Singing) Are you ready for the country? Ready for me? Are you ready for the country? Ain't that a sight to see?
OCHS: Shooter and his band complete this project with the right combination of southern rock with a Black Sabbath chaser. Waylon, who loved all kinds of music, would no doubt approve.
SIEGEL: The CD is called "Waylon Forever." Our reviewer, Meredith Ochs, is a talk show host and DJ with Sirius Satellite Radio.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.