Shooter Jennings

Don't Wait Up (For George)

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One of the cool things about having Waylon Jennings for a father is your dad's work friends are likely to be a lot more interesting than if he worked, say, at a vacuum cleaner repair shop. Shooter Jennings knew George Jones as a good-hearted guy who used to stop by and visit his father sometimes, and when Jones died in 2012, Shooter lost both a family friend as well as a musical hero. Don't Wait Up (For George) is a five-song EP Jennings released in tribute to the Old Possum, featuring two originals and three covers of George Jones classics. Ultimately, it's the new tunes from Jennings that are most effective here; "Living in a Minor Key" was written by Jennings with Faren Miller for Jones to sing, and this simple but evocative tale of good and bad times sounds like something that would fit Jones like a glove. "Don't Wait Up (We're Playin' Possum)" pays homage to Jones while allowing Jennings to indulge in his badass persona as he ponders both cheating songs and real-world infidelity, and the mix suits him well. As for the covers, Jennings and Katy Cole deliver a strong version of "If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me" with a potent last-call-at-the-honky-tonk feel, and the dark electronic sheen on "She Thinks I Still Care" works better than expected, but the tricked-up noise that accompanies "The Door" is pretentious and ultimately doesn't serve the song well. And while Jennings clearly means well, the covers face one insurmountable obstacle -- no one will ever sing those songs as well as George Jones. That said, Shooter Jennings clearly sings from the heart on "Don't Wait Up," and this is a tribute to the artist and the man that rings honest and true.

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