The Music Inside: A Collaboration Dedicated to Waylon Jennings, Volume II (2012)

Share this:

What the hell happened?

The Music Inside Volume 1 offered fans a heartfelt tribute to Waylon Jennings from people who knew him or were heavily influenced by his music. It contained songs from the likes of Jamey Johnson, Kris Kristofferson, Shooter Jennings, Alabama, John Hiatt and Waylon himself.

Volume 2? Well, it completely misses the point.

That whirring sound that you’re currently hearing in the background? That’s Waylon spinning in his grave as Colt Ford raps “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line” on this collection. That’s right, I said raps – and utterly horrible rap at that. I only got about halfway through the song, and at that point, I would have happily taken a baseball bat to the guy if he’d been sitting in the room with me. How anyone ever thought that was a good idea, I’ll never understand.

Ford is certainly the most egregious offender here, but far from the only one. So many of the performances just lack any soul at all. You can’t be Waylon, and I didn’t expect that. There will never be another Waylon. But how can you take these fantastic songs and turn them into generic, cookie-cutter country radio tunes? That’s just what Dierks Bentley does with “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean,” what Justin Moore does with “I Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This” and what Josh Thompson does with “Love of the Common People.” It just goes to prove that Nashville’s manufactured modern-day outlaws can’t hold a candle to the real deal.

In fairness, there are some good performances here. The most surprising to me was Jewel’s version of “Dreaming My Dreams with You.” I’ve never been a fan, but she’s one of the few artists that puts any soul or conviction into the song, and it’s a highlight of the record for that reason. It goes without saying that Hank Williams Jr.’s version of “Waymore’s Blues” and Jessi Colter’s version of “Mama” are also solid performances. Both of them have a strong connection with Waylon, and no one can deny that they both deserve to be here. Jack Ingram’s funky take on “Bob Wills is Still the King,” a song that he’s played regularly in his live show, is interesting and one of the few that puts a new spin on the tune. (Well, at least a good new spin. There is that Colt Ford abomination.)

Of the remaining songs, they’re mostly faithful covers and just OK. Pat Green’s “Rainy Day Woman” and Wyatt McCubbin’s “A Long Time Ago” are quite listenable, but don’t really bring anything new to the table. Montgomery Gentry’s cover of “Good Ol’ Boys” seems an odd choice, though I guess it’s probably one of Waylon’s most recognizable songs for folks of a certain age, and while I don’t hate it the way I do some of the versions here, I don’t really like it, either.

It’s pretty obvious that this tribute project that was started with a lot of effort from Waylon’s son Shooter and wife Jessi Colter has spiraled out of their control at this point, and that’s a shame. The project had so much promise, but the second volume reeks of Music Row manipulation rather than a heartfelt commemoration of Waylon’s life and work.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B007BY0JWW” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00014GHP2″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000002WWJ” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B004EQAVAK” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0000062EQ” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips is a veteran entertainment writer with a love of hard rock and heavy metal. He has written music reviews, columns and feature stories for several newspapers, Web sites and a national wire service, while running a stand-alone site called Hall of the Mountain King in various places and incarnations since 1997. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Fred Phillips

Latest posts by Fred Phillips (see all)

Share this:
Close