• Thomas Joseph

Shooter Jennings jolts White Oak crowd with wicked set


(Photo: Thomas Joseph)

Shooter Jennings sent a jolt through the crowd at White Oak Music Hall on Friday night.

The Outlaw Country stalwart and heir to the Jennings Family throne played a set heavy on tracks from his upcoming record, Shooter, while honoring his wider catalog and influences. Shooter was joined by Corb Lund and Turnpike Troubadours on the outdoor stage at White Oak.

Jennings started things off with "Rhinestone Eyes," the lead single off of Shooter. Not unlike the other two singles off of the album, it reflects on a life spent surrounded by country. "Denim & Diamonds," which we spotlighted in the run up to the show, is just as haunting live as it is through you ear buds.

If it's one thing Shooter Jennings gets credit for, it's the sheer volume of emotion he pumps out live through his pipes. That's what carries slower tracks like "Rhinestone" and "Diamonds," and it comes through on "All This Could Have Been Yours."

"Yours" comes from Jennings' 2010 record Black Ribbons. That album probably best encompasses Jennings career. The man throws out a an up-and-down record with Stephen King narrating spoken word interludes about the degradation of life, the universe, and everything. By all measures, King drops a number of horrifying themes in the album.

The record triumphs on tracks like "Yours" because Shooter has an absolutely otherworldly voice and ear for melody. Sure enough, live and in person the song is as arresting as anything on Black Ribbons. For all of Shooter's jaunts into provocation and alarmism, the interludes are grounded by tremendous country tracks like "Yours" and "God Bless Alabama."

(Photo: Thomas Joseph)

The Good Brothers in Turnpike Troubadours headlined this stop on the tour.

Anchored by performances of all the hits - and we do mean all the hits - these guys rocked faces off of a crowd that was on pins and needles for performances of "Every Girl," "7 & 7," and "Good Lord Lorrie."

To their credit, Turnpike burned every standard available with an eye toward the curfew, as bands had to be off stage by 11 p.m. They sprinkled in a few more fan favorites - "Kansas City Southern" stood out - as their set wore on. Guitarist Ryan Engleman, cigarette in mouth, churned out some tremendous solos.

In the end it was a killer set from all three acts, and Houston would be thrilled to have them back. Jennings, for the record, will be back in Houston at The Heights Theater on October 18.

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