This past Summer, there was a concert in Ozark called Thunder On The Mountain, which was done by the same people that put on Wakarusa in Ozark. Thunder On The Mountain was meant to be a festival for fans of new “Country” music, bringing in artists such as Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, and Big & Rich. As you might’ve noticed after reading my blog, these artists are not REAL Country artists. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I found something about this festival to be interesting. About a week after it was announced, I realized what it was. On the lineup was Todd Snider. Although Todd Snider is relatively new, he doesn’t play the “Cookie Cutter Country” that Toby Keith and Luke Bryan play. Todd Snider comes from the Singer/Songwriter branch of artists such as Hayes Carll, Guy Clark, and Robert Earl Keen. Once I saw his name on the bill, I thought it was a mistake. A couple of weeks later, I realized this was no mistake. Shooter Jennings was added to the bill. At that point, I knew that it wasn’t a typo, but rather a case of New Country people not being able to take a hint. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. For instance, Shooter Jennings put out a song a couple of years ago called Outlaw You, which aimed straight at “Dirt Road” fake artists such as Jason Aldean and Brantley Gilbert. Shooter has openly criticized these artists, and he has more than the right to do so. So many of these modern artists name drop Waylon Jennings in their songs. Well, if you didn’t already know, or figure it out, Shooter is Waylon’s son. So, for a festival to bring in all the fake Nashville acts, and then bring in the real deal, in the SAME WEEKEND, that proves that they really don’t pay attention to the meanings behind the songs, otherwise they probably never would’ve booked Shooter, since his song “Outlaw You” addresses the business leaders in charge of Nashville artists. There’s a video on Youtube of Shooter playing that song at the festival, and the crowd’s getting into it, but it seems like they may be just as clueless. Either that, or they truly get it, so they all gathered to see Shooter. Either one is possible, but after seeing Shooter Jennings live before, I think the second one was the case. Shooter’s fans are just as upset about what Country music has become as Shooter is. Shooter’s fans are Waylon’s fans are Shooter’s fans. It all goes around. Everyone loves it all equally. Everyone gets it. So, back to my point about Shooter’s booking being proof that music executives are clueless. Is that the case? Or, are certain powers in the music industry trying to get Shooter’s message across? It makes you wonder if our music will really be saved. It gives you that slight ounce of hope, and even that makes things a little better.
Here’s the video of Shooter performing Outlaw You at Thunder On The Mountain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q69mwRe3Jos
This was a feature that CNN did about Shooter, after he released his final major label album, The Wolf, which, even with the mix of Country and Rock, was still too real for corporate Country. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA95fKOSghg