For his debut solo album, 2005’s Put the “O” Back in Country, Shooter Jennings enlisted the help of the man who watched him grow up: George Jones. The legendary country singer, a frequent visitor at the Jennings household during Shooter’s childhood, lent his voice to the Stones-y single “Fourth of July.” Now, Jennings is returning the favor in a way, honoring the Possum, who died in 2013, with an innovative new EP, Don’t Wait Up (For George), released August 5th.
The project, which combines Jennings’ country lineage with his affinity for electronic sounds (see 2010’s revelatory Black Ribbons), features two Jennings originals and three Jones covers. Rolling Stone Country is premiering the Possum signature “She Thinks I Still Care” today. Jennings says its sonic backbone was formed by synthesizer and inspired by electronic visionary Giorigio Moroder, whom he also pays tribute to on the upcoming Countach (For Giorgio).
“Tons of people have done this song, so I knew I had to make it different. I took it to my most comfortable place, which happened to be this highly Eighties-influenced sound,” Jennings says. “I sent it to my producer friend Dave Cobb when I was done and he suggested I put steel on it with an old Eventide [reverb] type effect. I thought, ‘Why didn’t I think of that? Brilliant!'”
Jennings is particularly proud, even surprisingly so, with the way his vocal turned out. “That is definitely one of my favorite vocal performances,” he says. “I hate my voice, so that says a lot.”
Jennings, currently on tour, performs tomorrow at Amoeba Records in Los Angeles.