Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Waylon Jennings - Nashville Rebeldotdotdot
artworkOne side of this album is instrumental. When you think of instrumentals, Waylon Jennings doesn't come to mind. He was an early rocker and DJ, and a member of The Crickets behind Buddy Holly. It was Waylon Jennings who gave up his seat to The Big Bopper (J. P. Richardson) on the flight that took the lives of Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens.

Waylon Jennings went back to West Texas radio for a time before returning to live performing. He was always a country artist with a rock attitude, much like Willie Nelson, with whom he later worked. Riding against the Nashville grain, he eventually was able to play and record in the stripped down genuine edgy country style he loved, and that garnered him a Grammy.

He's often best known for songs like "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," and the theme to the TV series The Dukes of Hazzard. Others that Jennings worked with include Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001, before his death in early 2002.

This album is here for two reasons, its instrumental content, and more importantly, Jennings' place in the foundations on which surf built via his work with Buddy Holly.
Picks: Hoodlum, Spanish Penthouse, Lang's Theme, Lang's Mansion

Track by Track Review


Hoodlum dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

This is a very playful country instro with some slithery sliding steel guitar, which gives this otherwise pretty straight country rocker a psychedelic edge. Recorded in mono, but effected into a stereo landscape by panning narrow frequency envelopes around. The backtrack features cool piano, like maybe from Floyd Cramer, and an otherwise very jam-centric structure. Strange and fun.

Spanish Penthouse dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Spanish guitar and a modest backtrack are very pleasant. Waylon Jennings' playing (he's on this, isn't he) on the acoustic is very pretty. "Spanish Penthouse" is a really nice track with a light and infectious sound.

Lang's Theme dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

"Lang's Theme" is a slow version of "Hoodlum" with some organ. It's slithery sound is more pronounced at this reduce pace.

Rush Street Blues dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Slide guitar slither and soul, with chop chords boosted from the steel guitar. Slow, bluesy, and quite pretty. Some of the piano is New Orleans rolling like Fats Domino.

Lang's Mansion dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

This is a lovely piano solo. The melody is just lovely, and a bit sad. There's some additional instrumentation that's subtly mixed in - bass and maybe violin. Lovely.