Shooter Jennings and Hierophant play Cabooze Saturday


I'm gonna tell you somethin', and then you're gonna judge me.

I really, really like Tool.

Now that that's out of the way, I'm gonna tell you that Shooter Jennings, progeny of country legends Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, just put out a concept album under the band name Hierophant. I've never been much of a Shooter fan, but from the sounds of the first track on the album, called Black Ribbons, Shooter's also a Tool fan. Shooter Jennings does Tool, track one. Let's listen on.

The album, which has been described as "the Allman Brothers meets Pink Floyd" but by Shooter himself described as influenced more by Nine Inch Nails, is in his words "kind of this big concept record about truth, and about the importance of love and two people connecting. It's masqueraded as this kind of futuristic story that goes on with this guy. As a whole, I believe it is something that is a really cool piece of art." Deep, man.

And speaking of art, let's talk about Stephen King (that's me being a snarky asshole, if you haven't yet picked up on my snarky asshole vibe). Tool has had its Bill Hicks; Hierophant has its Stephen King. King, who wrote portions of the narration for the album and acts as the voice of "Will O' The Wisp," a radio talk-show host being censored by the government who spends his last hour on-air proselytizing about the decline of America and playing the music of the one band the government wants us to hear the least - Hierophant, figures largely into the album and has himself called the whole thing "a tremendously spooky idea." As spooky as corn-cult kids and P-P-P-Pennywise the Dancing Clown? Ooooooooooh you're freaking my shit out, Stephen and Shooter!

Subsequent tracks dip into the most psychedelic of psych rock - just kidding, the album has also been compared to Steve Miller Band, so only mildly, accessible-to-your-parents psychedelic. But all comparisons noted, one thing this album can't be compared to is country.

So why am I writing about it here? Because he's Shooter Jennings, man! He's Waylon's son! That said, I give him a big fuckin' pat on the back for trying something different, and trying to make us forget that little ol' fact. Bless your pea-pickin' heart, Shooter, and keep it up.

Check out the sound on the website they've dedicated to the new album, which navigates like the Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? computer game I used to play on my Holstein-esque Gateway computer back in the 7th grade (dossier says probably spelunking in Lima). Or better yet, check them out in person this weekend when they play the Cabooze (Sat 5/1, 8:30, $17).