Waylon Jennings & The 357’s – Waylon Forever (CD)

Decades ago, Waylon Jennings earned his spot on the Outlaw Country Mount Rushmore, sandwiched somewhere between Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. Anyone wondering if he really deserved that honor just needs to listen to the first few tracks off Waylon Forever, the last album he recorded. His distinctive baritone is as strong as ever and the songs just as memorable. He’s joined on the record by his son Shooter Jennings and backing band the .357’s.

A collection of originals of covers, the themes are pretty familiar: outlaws, gambling, fighting, etc., but you’d be disappointed if he sang about anything else. The only downside is the length. Coming in at just eight songs, Jennings leaves us wanting more. The cover of Cream’s “White Room” is worth skipping, but Jennings’ can’t be blamed, as it’s not exactly a great song to begin with. However, “Outlaw Shit,” “Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This” and “Lonesome On’ry and Mean” are all worth the price of the CD alone. With Johnny Cash and Waylon already gone, Willie and Kristofferson are the only musicians left saving country music from irrelevancy.

Top Tracks: Outlaw Shit, Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This and Lonesome On’ry and Mean

Rating: 9/10

Waylon Jennings & The 357’s – Waylon Forever (CD) / 2008 Vagrant / 8 tracks / www.waylonforever.com

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