Make no mistake about it, Shooter Jennings has never been one to allow expectations, boundaries, genre or ideals dictate the direction of his art. From the moment he burst onto the scene, it was clear that he had a style and a vision all his own that would separate him from the leagues of cookie-cutter artists out there.
During the recording sessions for Shooter s previous release, Family Man, as in life, things began to shift and change and The Other Life began to take form. Over the duration of 2012, Shooter and The Triple Crown finished work on The Other Life, and Shooter and long time video-collaborator Blake Judd began planning an expansive film counterpart to the album. Shot across Tennessee, Kentucky, Nevada and California, The Other Life film paints a story of isolation, temptation and rebirth through visual storytelling. As an album, The Other Life sees Shooter using all the colors of the pallets of previous recordings, and bringing them together to make his most diverse and interesting album to date. He enlists the help of friends and icons alike, Austin Texas madman Scott H. Biram shares vocal duties on the Steve Young penned The White Trash Song, Patty Griffin blesses Wild and Lonesome and Black Oak Arkansas Jim Dandy preaches alongside Shooter in the Black Oak Arkansas lost gem 15 Million Light-Years Away. But it is with the closing The Gunslinger that we see a portrait of a man hell bent on making art his way no matter who may try and get in the way.
In 2012, Shooter also began work producing records for other artists. On March 12th, the same day as The Other Life s release, Lexington, KY dirt rock band Fifth on the Floor will release Ashes & Angels, the first of three records Shooter produced the previous year. Jason Boland s Dark and Dirty Mile will follow, as well as a yet-unnamed record with Reno s Hellbound Glory.
In the long run, in his short time here Shooter has been a very prolific and daring artist. Dangerous in his disregard for rules put upon him by the greedy. Deceptive in his unpredictability. Bound only by the progressive evolution of music and controlled only by will and determination, Shooter Jennings will never be able to placed upon a shelf or chained to a simple concept. But as dreams and nightmares continue to blossom and reality continues to crumble, there is comfort to be taken in the fact that artists like Shooter still care about art and disregard the rigid restrictions put upon it by corporate slave-drivers and the mainstream gatekeepers.