Shooter Jennings had the best relationship possible with his father, the late Waylon Jennings, but he has no need to try to reinvent himself in the country star's image.
Certainly, the younger Jennings has more than dabbled in outlaw country lifestyle. He can be heard on the 2006 release "Live at Irving Plaza" boasting a bit about how he and his then-bandmates all ended up in jail after only three gigs together. But a lot has changed in Jennings — both personally and professionally — since that time. Those changes are chronicled on his 2012 album, "Family Man," and his just-released venture, "The Other Life."
"With this record, I was definitely able to refine the sound [I had captured on 'Family Man']," he said, noting five of the new songs were originally cut for the 2012 release. "There is a lot of pure country, a lot of pure lonesome songs. ... There is a lot of change in my life; it's a rebirth in a lot of ways."
The only child of country music legends Jennings and Jessi Colter, the younger Jennings spent his early life on a tour bus with his famous parents. He began playing music when he was 5 and released his first album, "Put the 'O' Back in Country," in 2005, about 20 years later.
|Shooter Jennings with Daniel Romano and Scott Kurt & Memphis 59|
|» Where: State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church|
|» When: 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show, Thursday|
|» Info: $17 advance, $20 day of; 703-237-0300; thestatetheatre.com|
While his earlier music was described by some as a mix of country and rock, a la Guns N' Roses, his new music has a more experimental, almost dramatic sound. There is plenty of country/roots sound in the music, but there's also a solid dollop of psychedelic elements that add vibrancy to the 11-track album.
"It's a landscape of sound," said Jennings. "I really wanted it to have a real slow burn at the beginnings as it went into a message of self-discovery."
That is certainly something to which Jennings can relate. He's traded in the wild ways of his 20s for a life as a family man with his longtime love, Emmy Award-winning actress Drea de Matteo ("The Sopranos," "Desperate Housewives"), and their two young children.
Although this is not a concept album by any means, the songs certainly reflect the rebirth of which Jennings spoke. He's quick to point out that the rebirth is not unique to him, but one many face during the economic and social unrest of these times.
"It's really about embracing change," he said, talking about both the album and an accompanying film. "Where the change is for a good or bad reason, done on purpose or not, that's something we all face."