Few artists bring to the table an already instilled sense of fierce independent individuality like Shooter Jennings. His father Waylon was never one to sit around and do what Nashville told him he oughta do. Shooter takes that same spirit and heart into his recordings and it is never more obvious than here on his latest release family man. This time, shooter offers up 10 songs of pure country grit and whiskey rock, at times painting aural pictures of gothic civil war era mountain life, smoky bars, and family weekends around the house.
Starting with “The Real Me”, a song with a traditional banging country backbeat, telling the story of a man who can be the perfect dad but when the liquor hits his lips, the devil takes over. Another stand out is the CD’s first release “The Deed and the Dollar”. A slow driving track showcasing the venerability in shooter’s voice and the sensitivity of a man in love and in touch with the simplicity of that feeling and its worth in his life. Other stand out tracks for me includes “The Black Dog”, the story of a miner’s dog who leads the narrator on an eerie trail through the mountains to save the miner’s life. Also check out “Daddy’s Hands”, a personal story about how we cannot stop time and the effects it eventually has on our loved ones.
Family man has the potential to be one of the most heralded releases of 2012. From start to finish it offers a glimpse into a family man who understands the trials and tribulations of life, how to overcome them and what makes them bearable when you can’t. I recommend you get a copy, crank it up on a Saturday morning or in your car when you have fewer distractions and really listen to entire feel of the disc.