With him Waylon took one of the most recognized voices in country music history. Waylon’s legacy lives on past his death in the songs he left for his fans.
Also here for us are the family members including Jessi Colter and Waylon’s son Shooter. They’ve formed their own musical biographies during their time, but perhaps by fate they’ll always be linked to Waylon and his pioneering ways.
Now after some time since his passing country music’s best artists have gathered and recorded Waylon’s tribute.
I’ve had the fortune to listen to the first volume and I wanted to share my thoughts on the songs.
So sit back, enjoy, and share your own thoughts on the legendary country music from Waylon Jennings and the artists he inspired…
Waylon Jennings: The Music Inside Volume 1
1. This Time – Jamey Johnson
It’s fitting to start this album off with Jamey Johnson. He’s today’s throwback to the Waylon era. Jamey has the voice, the anger, and the passion to fill in on any Waylon song. This Time was one of Waylon’s best. I love the melody. The sentiment of the song is great as well. I love the wailing steel guitars in the background. This Time puts a smile on my face and that’s just how I wanted to feel when I listened to this album for the first time. A great tribute track.
2. Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way – Alabama
This was the first track I heard from the tribute album. When I heard Alabama would be doing Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way I was excited. These guys are legends in their own way and defined two decades of Nashville country band music. They did it their own way just like Waylon and it’s fitting to see these guys back together after retirement on a Waylon tribute. As always the music is top notch and Randy is right on the vocals. This song plays well in so many situations. I remember hearing it during the movie Crazy Heart and I remember hearing Miranda Lambert sing it with Jack Ingram. It’s always great when this song comes on.
3. I’m A Ramblin’ Man – Randy Houser
Randy Houser has that outlaw attitude. Old Randy has had just one bit hit up to this point, but his music has been having an impact in the music city and around the country. He fits right in on this Waylon classic. It’s easy to believe that Randy is out and about rambling from town to town trying to convince the women to stay out of his way. You can’t settle down with those crazy rambling men.
4. Belle of the Ball – Shooter Jennings
Shooter said in an interview some time back that he always liked his Dad’s tune Belle of the Ball. I think Shooter sang it before on video and did a great job. Shooter’s voice isn’t like his Dad’s in really any way and that’s just fine. Waylon had that deep, rolling voice that shook your insides when you heard him. Shooter has the passion and the wariness of a guy trying to figure out life. There is a sentiment to this song that makes it interesting to listen to and that’s really what makes it a great tribute.
5. Good Hearted Woman – Sunny Sweeney & Jessi Colter
Sunny Sweeney first caught my attention with her single that’s climbing the charts right now. I never thought to see her here on this tribute, but she fits right in. She’s got some sass to her and it works great on Good Hearted Woman. The song is different than the Waylon and Willie original and that’s just fine. The attitude and suggestion are still there in the lyrics and the vocals. It’s a great tribute and it’s topped off perfectly with Jessi Colter joining in. It’s great stuff.
6. Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out of Hand – James Otto
The music gets rolling with this class Waylon song. James Otto has the voice to match the outlaw era Waylon made famous. There was always a bit of soul in Waylon’s voice and that’s what James has always described himself as – country soul. Waylon always thought to question the way he was perceived by just about everybody in the world. He never seemed to be big on labels and always questioned the way things were. It’s what made him great and why so many were drawn to him. This tribute track is great in sound and delivery.
7. Just To Satisfy You – John Hiatt & Waylon Jennings
I’ll admit I haven’t heard much John Hiatt before this track and that’s probably out of line. He does a great job on this track. This is one of probably my top 2 or 3 favorite Waylon songs so I had high expectations for it. John is able to make it his own and I can respect that. I really love the original but no matter what the great songwriting comes through and the spirit of Waylon is right there for all the fans waiting to hear it. It’s another great tribute.
8. Rose In Paradise – Kris Kristofferson & Patti Griffin
Kris was there back in the days Waylon was ruling the charts. Old Kris’ voice was always unique whenever he came on the radio or on record. He makes his presence known on this track as well. And the beautiful voice of Patti Griffin is amazing. I love her parts in the song. She’s like a country angel singing with passion and spirit. This is one of my favorite songs on the entire set. There is just a different sound to this song. There is a life behind the vocals and something special captured on record. It’s great.
9. You Asked Me To – Trace Adkins
Trace Adkins is one I thought for sure would have to be on a Waylon tribute album. The voice fits. Trace’s deep vocals are well recognized. Country fans know who they’re listening to when Trace comes through the speakers. He slows things down on this classic Waylon song. It’s a simple yet amazing song that hits home on different levels. Another great reflection song from one of the legends in country music.
10. Go Down Rockin’ – Waylon Jennings
Here we have an original from Waylon himself. It’s great to hear his voice again. You almost yearn for it by the end of this album. After hearing all of his great music you want to hear the man himself and you finally get it on this great track. The wailing steel guitar is there. The low building deep vocals are there and the storytelling is there like never before. I love this song. It’s one I’ve been playing on repeat since I got my hands on the album.
11. The Wurlitzer Prize (I Don’t Want To Get Over You) – Chanel Campbell
Some of my favorite songs turn the common way we think about life on its. The Wurlitzer Prize is a song like that. A guy is heartbroken and he doesn’t want to let go. Here we have the beautiful song sung by the beautiful Chanel Campbell. She puts her heart and soul into this Waylon classic. You can feel the pain and the yearning in her voice. At some point in our lives we’ve all probably felt this way. Things were good the way they were. Why would we want them to change?