Thursday, February 4, 2010


Shooter Jennings Official 

we are proud to announce a partnership with The Public Record to bring another track, Don't Feed The
Animals from the album to YOU for FREE with the chance to JAM with the BAND!
Visit Shooter's Page at The Public Record to download the tracks.
We're looking for REMIXES of the song, as well as individual instrument PARTS
submitted for a collective FAN JAM version that will be assembled. The best of
the best of these will be included in a Don't Feed The Animals (SINGLE)
to be released in March. We're also looking for fan-made videos so we can chose
the best parts and assemble a fan-video for immediate release! The times they
are a changin' and we're happy to be on board with the new opportunities
technology has awarded true fans!


Forget everything you thought you knew about Shooter Jennings. 

The acclaimed singer-songwriter is kicking off a bold new chapter in his career with new band HIEROPHANT and Black Ribbons (Black Country Rock/Rocket Science Ventures), a mind-blowing 70-minute opus that completely obliterates genre distinctions. On this unprecedented work, twanging dobros coexist with Nintendo chipsets; brutally assaultive passages alternate with moments of unabashed tenderness, and surreal Floydian soundscapes float above smoking slabs of whiskey-soaked southern soul. It’s an electrifying thrill ride across a dense, dark and gloriously decadent musical landscape. 

At its core, Black Ribbons is a concept album about truth—searching for it, locating it, wrestling with it and eventually coming to terms with it. From the opening track (and lead single) “Wake Up!,” a pummeling psychotropic stomp that sets the album’s tone, to the synth-injected paranoiac anthem “When The Radio Goes Dead,” this elliptical narrative takes the listener on a harrowing, life-affirming and altogether rapturous journey.

Binding the whole thing together with alchemical deftness is acclaimed novelist Stephen King, who provides the voice of Will O’ The Wisp, a late-night talk-radio host who is in the last hour of his final broadcast before the airwaves are overtaken by “government-approved and regulated transmissions.” In retaliation for his muzzling, he speaks his mind like never before, punctuating his rants with selections from the discography of Hierophant. Throughout the album’s 14 songs, Will O’ The Wisp flits in and out, painting an apocalyptic picture of what America could become in the not-so-distant future, while offering his loyal listeners—from whom he is about to be permanently cut off—the unvarnished truth.

The seeds of the album were planted during a particularly intense period for Jennings. He and his fiancée had just had their first child, Alabama, and sobered by this blessed event, he was feeling restless about his artistic direction and ready to take stock of himself as a human being. On 2008’s Waylon Forever, Shooter, with the help of long-time producer Dave Cobb and his band the .357’s, had resurrected and recreated music for an album Shooter and his father, country music pioneer Waylon Jennings, had started when Shooter was 16. The album, featuring Waylon’s voice over progressive re-workings of some of his hits, foreshadowed what was to come, as Waylon’s voice acted as a launching pad for Shooter and his band’s musical experiments.

Jennings considers Waylon Forever “a bow tied on the past—the swan song of what I’d been doing up to that point,” as he puts it. “And after the birth of our daughter, I was doing a lot of soul searching. My record company wanted me to change my recording process to fit their idea of how a record was made and I just wasn’t into that, so we parted ways.  I found myself on my own as an artist for the first time in six years, and at that moment, I was forced to face exactly who I was, my mistakes included—it was like everything was on a plate sitting right in front of me. I had this urge to open up everything I had inside of me and put it down on the page. So I started writing and it became sort of a cleansing process. Then I called up Dave Cobb and told him I wanted to make a different kind of record—a new adventure. And no matter what people would think, it was important to not be afraid of anything. I was ready to follow my inspiration, wherever it took me.”

So in September of 2008, Jennings left New York and headed to Los Angeles to begin recording the album. He took the long way, driving cross-country in an old RV. It was during this trip that everything changed—the financial systems fell and the world went into a panic. 

“I remember sitting there in the driver’s seat listening to whatever I could find on the radio. I would tune in to various AM stations, talk shows, political commentary, and some very dark and bizarre stuff that you can only find while twisting the dials in the middle of nowhere.  There was so much fear and speculation about howAmerica and the rest of the world was going to survive—if at all—and so many people more than willing to exploit it. A very clear picture of a looming police state and a very dark oppressive worldwide political regime began to reveal itself. I had always loved late-night talk radio, but for the first time, I was right there with them, traveling with the fear and the lack of answers, and I was completely captivated.  I realized I wanted to create an experience like this, taking it on a fictional level to a possible future.”

The cross-country drive also cemented the notion of having the record narrated by a DJ. By the time he got to L.A., Shooter was overflowing with ideas, the concept for the album already taking shape in what he calls “this inspirational spark that cracked my mind open.” He and Cobb holed up in the producer's basement studio and laid down all kinds of sounds on a multitude of axes and machines. After they’d programmed the bulk of the tracks, they brought in a pair of .357 alumni, bass player Ted Russell Kamp and drummer Brian Keeling, along with his buddy, the virtuoso guitarist Jonathan Wilson (host of the Wednesday night LaurelCanyon jams). The core players, a.k.a. Hierophant, replaced the programmed parts and recorded several designated tracks from scratch live off the floor. On the title track, Robby Turner played acoustic and dobro and Bobby Emmett played keys, while Shooter’s mother, outlaw country’s first lady Jessi Colter, and his sister, Jennifer Davis, sang background vocals.

Ten months later, the massive undertaking was complete—except for the crucial role of the DJ. After numerous failed attempts, Shooter finally got hold of King—who was a fan and had written Shooter into his best-selling novel Lisey’s Story (2006). The author was intrigued by the invitation and came on board after he’d heard the finished tracks and read the outline for how Shooter intended the album to play out. King then proceeded to become Will o’ the Wisp.

To this day I've never met or spoken to Mr. King,” says Shooter. “Someone who had business contacts with him put us in touch and I presented my ideas to him. Through a string of emails we went back and forth about the character and the story of the album, and the few weeks later I had a recording of The Last Night of the Last Light on my doorstep. It was like a digital correspondence with a spectre from the other side—very dark, eerie and profoundly mesmerizing stuff. I'm extremely grateful and honored to have him on this record."

With Black Ribbons, Shooter Jennings has created something true to himself, to his art and his beliefs. Sonically, it draws from Jennings’ disparate influences—the Beatles’ White Album, Skinny Puppy and Ministry to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Black Oak Arkansas. At the same time, it forms an intensely personal song cycle, as this young artist probes his own roiling psyche and the tumult of modern-day existence.“

I gotta admit that early in the process, I went through a few moments of self-doubt,” he says.  “But the experience of making the record shut those demons right up.  The bigger picture became much clearer to me and I knew I didn't have just a record on my hands, I had a mission. It was like being blind-folded but trusting your instincts so that when you jump, you land on your feet. I'm extremely proud of this record and the fact that we were able to push my vision through one hundred percent. I know some folks may be surprised at how different this record is compared to my previous works, but I'm sure once they dig in they'll find something that speaks to them. After all, it's the twisted road that matters, not the destination."

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