Wolf

The Wolf

3.3 3
by Shooter Jennings
     
 
Grinding, churning, stomping, and wailing, Shooter Jennings's third album blazes a scorched-earth southern rock path through a baker's dozen original tunes notable mostly for their merciless vocal, rhythmic, and instrumental attack. The Louisiana Man himself, Doug Kershaw, stops by to get things off to a furious start by lending his aggressive, relentless fiddle cries

Overview

Grinding, churning, stomping, and wailing, Shooter Jennings's third album blazes a scorched-earth southern rock path through a baker's dozen original tunes notable mostly for their merciless vocal, rhythmic, and instrumental attack. The Louisiana Man himself, Doug Kershaw, stops by to get things off to a furious start by lending his aggressive, relentless fiddle cries to the Skynyrd-style guitar crunch of "This Ol' Wheel," a partly spoken, partly sung tale in which Shooter relates the often harrowing details of a star-crossed road trip that seems his lot in life. The complexities of an enduring love affair form the narrative of a majestic, hard-nosed rocker, "Tangled Up Roses," that reaches epic proportions in the mix of its ensemble drive, robust organ support, and gospel-styled background declamations by the Settles Connection. Third song in, Shooter countrifies Mark Knopfler's "Walk of Life," with sizzling twin guitar leads, a thundering rhythm section, and an expressive, gritty lead vocal that delivers both nuance and attitude in one fierce reading. The lilting rhythm and genial sentiments of "Old Friend" underscore a debt to Guy Clark songcraft, but the mariachi horns (arranged by Jim Horn), some soulful background harmonies, and some helter-skelter pedal steel flurries send the song out on a wild-eyed Doug Sahm note. In the roiling title song, Shooter wonders, "Am I country enough / or too rock 'n' roll," but he doesn't seem to worry about the answer as the Settles soar in southern gospel harmony and the guitars sound a gut-rattling Zeppelin riff behind him. Clearly, Shooter Jennings's divided soul is his greatest asset -- may he always be so conflicted.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
Lacking both the songwriting skills of his superstar dad and the platinum-selling croon of his Nashville superiors, Shooter Jennings has struggled to carve his own niche. The Wolf finds him twanging his way through traditional (almost stereotypical) country music, despite his past forays into rock & roll territory. Jennings' previous studio effort, Electric Rodeo, was a far edgier affair, and the subsequent Live at Irving Plaza 4.18.06 showed him at his best, leading a raucous bar band -- the .357s -- through electrified romps about Southern living and drug busts. Traces of that energy are evident in The Wolf's kick-off track, "This Ol' Wheel," where Jennings name-checks Johnny Cash and dismisses his critics with a kinetic country-rap delivery. His voice is confident, almost swaggering, and the track blazes with kick-stomp percussion and fiddle riffs courtesy of Doug Kershaw. Perhaps it's no coincidence that The Wolf's other standout track, "Slow Train," also features a lively cameo, this time by the Oak Ridge Boys. Jennings grew up among the heavyweights of outlaw country, a genre his father helped invent, and he sounds solid when paired with stars of that caliber. Even so, Jennings sounds his best on country-rock numbers that combine his pedigree with a splash of loud, distorted guitars, and there's not enough of that material here. Instead, listeneres are saddled with a smattering of soft country, some rootsy numbers, and several horn-laden tracks, none of which deliver the punch of "This Ol' Wheel." The tunes aren't necessarily bad; they simply lack a proper person to sing them, since Jennings' mediocre vocals are better suited to a genre in which a singer's limitations can be masked by vigor and volume. The Wolf pushes those shortcomings to the forefront, and the strength with which Jennings begins the album can't sustain him through the end.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/23/2007
Label:
Universal South
UPC:
0602517324947
catalogNumber:
000888702

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Shooter Jennings   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Loops,Drum Loop
Doug Kershaw   Fiddle,Guest Appearance
Oak Ridge Boys   Background Vocals
Paul Martin   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Duane Allen   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Joe Bonsall   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
William Lee Golden   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Steven Herrman   Horn
Jim Horn   Horn
Charles Rose   Horn
Richard Sterban   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Shirley Settles   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Norah Lee Allen   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Kevin Sciou   Electric Guitar,Guest Appearance
Bryan Keeling   Percussion,Castanets,Drums
Calvin Settles   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Odessa Settles   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Ted Russell Kamp   Bass,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Leroy Powell   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,12-string Guitar,Slide Guitar
Todd Suttles   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Sara Settles   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Gary Murray   Banjo,Fiddle,Guest Appearance
Joe Bosnall   Background Vocals
Todd Settles   Background Vocals
Teresa Wilson   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Jim Horn   Horn Arrangements
Mark Knopfler   Composer
Mark Rains   Engineer
Susannah Parrish   Cover Design
Erick Jaskowiak   Engineer
Shooter Jennings   Composer,Sound Effects,Engineer,Art Direction
Ted Russell Kamp   Composer
Leroy Powell   Composer
Dave Cobb   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Mary Hilliard Harrington   Publicity
Oliver Peck   Drawing

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The Wolf 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really am a Shooter Jennings fan but this cd fell really short of his previous albums. It just didn't have the freshness or the excitement of fun of his past work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This cd ROCKS! I absolutely love it! Shooter is an amazing writer and very soulful singer and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago