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on March 13, 2012
Country singer-songwriter Shooter Jennings has a new self-produced CD release titled 'Family Man' : producing here for the first time, has family theme/thread throughout the album including in the tracks "The Real Me", "Southern Family Anthem" & "The Family Tree" and his new country music band The Triple Crown does jell very well. The album is well balanced with the ketchy melody & vocals in "The Long Road Ahead" (up-tempo solid track/gem/stand-out featuring Tom Morello & Eleanor Whitmore), "The Deed And The Dollar" (first single, great choice), "Summer Dream (Al's Song)" & "Daddy's Hands" (wonderful violin & this is my favourite track from this great CD), bluesy in "Manifesto No. 4" & "The Family Tree" and slow-tempo "The Black Dog" (great guitar-finger pick-ups) & "Born Again" (featuring Eleanor Whitmore). The production is solid & his band is on the roll and his song-writing superb (there is no weak song to talk of). Eleanor Whitmore provides great harmony vocals as well as playing harmony & fiddle in this great CD.

On overall, Shooter Jennings is on top of his game in this new family affair CD (song-writing, production & making the band jell well), titled 'Family Man' : a stunning performance & a well deserved 5 star rating. A highly recommended CD listening.
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on August 10, 2012
I look forward to when Shooter releases new material. He has continued his tradition of producing good outlaw country. I was pleased that some of the tracks in particular "The Real Me" has the potential to be a main stream country hit. It would be refreashing to see Shooter get some well deserved exposure not to mention providing an eye opening experience for those consumed with the commercial country scene.
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VINE VOICEon March 13, 2012
Shooter Jennings make a welcome return to country with FAMILY MAN. Indeed, it's probably his countriest since his first. That's not to say we don't appreciate his other stuff (concept album with Stephen King? Yes, please), but let's face it: it's nice to see country's prodigal son digging into (and taking digs at) a genre his father helped establish.

And yet, this is some of the most touching outlaw country you've heard. Yes, Jennings praises his rowdy days on the opening track; goes tongue-in-cheek for the groovy "Southern Family Anthem" ("We may be trash but we're family!"); and combines soul and weed (again) on "Manifesto No. 4." We even have a true old-fashioned ghost story ("The Black Dog"), and an ego-propelled jab at critics ("The Family Tree"). Yet I dare you to find anything as touching as Jennings's hauntin plea on "Daddy's Hands": "Come on Daddy, one more Christmas..." And the lead single, "The Deed and the Dollar," aptly sums up his romantic life, without ever getting too schmaltzy (hell, it's even something of a metaphor for America's financial crisis...or it's just a love song).

The truth is, not many musicians could have created an album as rebellious, yet touching, as FAMILY MAN. It's arguably Jennings's most solid effort yet, if not his most risk-taking. Rest assured: there are more career-defying acts yet ahead for Shooter Jennings. FAMILY MAN isn't one of them. It's a good old outlaw country record, the real deal. If that's not worth the price of admission, then you're in the wrong genre, my friend.
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on November 2, 2012
I love when Shooter releases a new cd. I look forward to it every time. This album is back to country, while some of the others are not. There are a lot of great songs on this album. He's even better in concert. I have been a fan for years and will continue to be one for many years to come.
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on May 1, 2012
I have purchased several of Shooter's discs and most have that original, rebel sort of sound and lyric...this one was more traditional and enjoyable and showed signs of maturity. Good for you Shooter...not riding on Daddy's coattails.
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on July 29, 2012
When Shooter Jennings emegred on the scene back in 2005, he was pretty much the odd man out. When he released his debut "Put The 'O' Back In Country", he was doing Outlaw Country in a time where pop infused country became all the rage. He took things a step further on his follow-up- 2006's "Electric Rodeo", an album that was equal parts country and Southern soul. The following year, he released his third and final album for a major label "The Wolf". Despite having solid material and great production, neither was enough to get any recognition from the record company. So he decided to go the independent route for his next project. In 2010, he released the critically acclaimed "Black Ribbons"- a politically charged concept album that was equal parts Pink Floyd and Lynyrd Skynyrd. As great as the album was, the record label Rocket Science Ventures ran into promotion and funding trouble shortly after the album was released. Two years later, Shooter resurfaced with a new band as well as a new label eOne Music for his next studio effort "Family Man".

On this new album, two things are very noticeable. The first of which is the absence of producer Dave Cobb, who helmed Shooter's first four albums. The second of which is the glaring omission of the first single "Outlaw You"- which was cut from the album. This time around, Shooter takes the reins on the production front, and the results are pretty decent. Starting the album off is the song "The Real Me" in which Shooter proclaims to be a great father and husband while being seemingly non-threatening- that is, until he starts drinking. He gets assistance from Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello on the song "The Long Road Ahead". He pays tribute to his real life girlfriend- actress Drea de Matteo- on the ballad "The Deed & The Dollar". He continues the "Manifesto" installment on his new album, where indulges in alcohol on "Manifesto No. 4". On "Southern Family Anthem", he sings about being proud of his family ties despite their checkered past. On the somber ballad "Daddy's Hands", Shooter sings of a family who wishes to spend one more holiday with the elder patriarch, despite his being too weak and frail to carry on. He sings a song about a mysterious dog trying to find his master on "The Black Dog" and closes the album with additional vocals from singer Eleanor Whitmore "Born Again". Overall, Shooter Jennings' "Family Man" is good, but lacks the punch and excitement of his earlier material. He may have toned things down a little due to the album's concept, but it sounds a little strange to hear Shooter in his mellowed out state.
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on September 29, 2013
I discovered Shooter Jennings' work like a lot a lot of folks from the Sons of Anarchy ending song on one of last season's episodes.
The song was 'All of this could have been yours' - gut wrenchingly sad, lot of remorse, regret, love, and anger all in one song. At various levels of intensity - I fell in love with the album this song was on ' Black Ribbons' a concept album regarding a fictional band with Stephen King cast as the DJ playing the fictional band, Heirophant's songs ,for the last night public airwaves are open to all broadcasters. The military government take over this method of 'communication' - thereby losing our dearly beloved free speech in this country, which I pray NEVER happens!!

Family Man is NOT a concept project like Black Ribbons. It is a genuine set of stories being told song by song. My recommended highlights are- The Real Me: deed and the Dollar; one of my favorites (CURRENTLY) is Summer days- again a story about what was going on his head: Black Dog is based on a true story as I understand it - haunting. Born again, the last track is now in my subconscious too, so have to mention it as well.

If you like GOOD music - esp if you don't care about labels/genres as I don't know what I would put this album or any of Shooter's music that I have heard, into as a box. You will hear interesting stories, great imagery, and can feel with your heart and your ears the pain, happiness, questions, and humor from this album. It will seep into your subconscious. Enjoy this artist that doesn't get much radio play -but thankfully we don't have just radio to introduce music to us now.
So, consider this an introduction to who I believe is a great singer, somg writer, and musician. Enjoy.
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on March 23, 2012
Waylon must be smiling! This is far superior to the commercialized trash that supposed "Modern Country" is offering. Let's face it, most of today's country artists are probably city dwellers brought out of their element and told to sing "I drink my whiskey from a jug" and other quips that are as unfamiliar to them as a dirt road!

I like nearly all the songs from this CD. Great stuff that harkin's back to what country music, outlaw country music, used to be. Sings a good story too!
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on September 24, 2014
My appreciation for this eye opening of country, bluesy, southern rock goodness. It will be on the playlist of this Not-So-Plain Country Girls BBQ/Cookout/Fire pit come on by and be a part of the family good times~
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on October 30, 2012
I have listened to Waylon for many years and now Shooter is starting to really get it. I love this CD, his best ever.
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