Though Shooter Jennings’ The Other Life, a companion piece to this year’s Family Man, is not due out until March, fans got a first taste of the record on Friday when Rolling Stone premiered “The White Trash Song.”
I’ll admit that I cringed a little at the title of the tune, which conjured images of the head-scratching “Southern Family Anthem,” but this song is nothing like that one. It opens with Shooter sparsely strumming a guitar and singing about waking up in his bedroom on the farm and dreaming about the road while we hear the sounds of nature and roosters crowing in the background. But you know it’s building to something, and you’re right.
Pretty soon we’re in the midst of a rowdy, driving country tune where Shooter is joined by a female vocalist on harmonies and backed by a warbly, strutting electric guitar line that would have been right at home in one of his dad’s songs.
After a verse or so, Shooter hands the song off to Scott H. Biram, who does what he does. Biram lays down his lines like a fiery country preacher as he tells the tale of the church woman he once had who ran off with Jimmy Swaggart to Nashville , Tenn., and the drinking and lifestyle choices that result. His over-the-top approach is a contrast to Shooter’s more laid back delivery, and I’d almost like to hear a little more of him.
As the song winds on, there’s a little jam session with some nice honky tonk piano and that guitar player getting to lay down a little Dickey Betts-style lead.
All in all, it’s a pretty promising introduction to the upcoming record and much more fun than Family Man’s first single, “The Deed and the Dollar.” It makes me look forward to March.