Listen Up: Wednesday, June 25, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Various Artists

Lonesome, On’ry and Mean: A Tribute to Waylon Jennings (Dualtone Music Group)

By Ken Shimamoto

Waylon Jennings’ life was the stuff Texas legend is made of, starting when he lost the coin toss that cost Buddy Holly his life on the ill-fated 1959 “Winter Carnival Tour.” Besides singing in a register — a low one — that, by the early ’60s, most Americans had forgotten existed, Jennings wanted to keep his own music stripped-down and bare-bones raw. To that end, he battled the Nashville establishment for a degree of artistic control that, if not unprecedented, was certainly rare, and he stayed the course until the rest of the world caught up with him in the late ’70s. When he departed in February 2002, he left a large space that’ll be hard to fill.

Tribute discs can be hit-or-miss propositions, largely a function of the artists who choose (or are chosen) to participate, but this one’s better than most. Vocally, the Blasters pompadoured populist Dave Alvin and Austin git-steel maniac Junior Brown come closest to the deep soul of Waylon’s vocalismo. Multiple Grammy-winning UNT alumnus Norah Jones renders “Wurlitzer Prize” in her distinctively cool and languid style. Mythic producer Cowboy Jack Clement and underrated honkytonk chanteuse Pam Tillis perform “Let’s All Help the Cowboys” as a sprightly duet. Elsewhere, Robert Earl Keen recasts “Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way” with Daniel Lanois-esque world-beat percussion, while Carlene Carter adds some Nawlins spice to her rockin’ take on “I’ve Always Been Crazy.”

Hardcore Waylon devotees might want to skip lantern-jawed Apple salesperson Henry Rollins’ punk-polka version of the title track. All in all, though, this is debatably the finest tribute to a hard country daddy since Hightone Records’ outstanding Tulare Dust: A Songwriters’ Tribute to Merle Haggard from 1994.


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2018 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions