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Shooter Jennings

Electric Rodeo – 2006 (Universal South)

Reviewed by Brian T. Atkinson

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CDs by Shooter Jennings

Like the most compelling tracks on his debut, "Put the O Back in Country," Shooter Jennings is at his best on the new "Electric Rodeo" when he's unrepentantly following in his famous daddy's outlaw footsteps. Shooter's hell-raising antics at first might seem a cliched photocopy of Waylon's, until it becomes abundantly apparent he's well into earning his own wounds and wrinkles.

On rowdy tales of cocaine abuse ("Little White Lines") and all-night drinking ("Hair of the Dog"), this is a man searching for his own voice. Of course, it's his throaty baritone that will always have folks comparing him to Waylon. Shooter already knows what he faces. His bold cover of Hank Williams Jr.'s "The Living Proof" is evidence: "An old drunk came up to me/He said, 'You ain't as good as your daddy, boy/And you never will be.'"

We all suspect that's true in Shooter's case, too, but grizzly songs like "Alligator Chomp" and the title track show that Shooter can bring his own guns to the table. And his aim is true.