There may be more Waylon Jennings covers out there than you can shake a stick (or L-O-G) at, but one-man band Tennessee Jet has a fresh spin on the form with his crunchy, martial take on “Waymore’s Blues” that includes guest vocals from Cody Jinks.
Written by Jennings and Curtis Buck, the loping original was a vintage outlaw country cut released on the Jennings’ 1975 LP Dreaming My Dreams. Jet’s new version sounds more akin to his buddy Jinks’ past life as a metal singer, including a sinister beat complete with handclaps, phased-out vocal effects, and a screaming, acid-washed guitar that threatens to implode the whole thing at any moment (and does, eventually, leaving the song hanging in a cloud of reverb).
Acid of a different variety was on Jet’s mind when the Nashville artist sat down to record the song with producers Beau Bedford (of the Texas Gentlemen) and Jason Burt. “When I was in my early twenties, I wanted to be Waylon Jennings. I wore out his records and covered his songs. I bought a sunburst Telecaster and an Ibanez phase shifter effects pedal to make my guitar go wowowowowow just like his,” he says. But eventually he wanted to be more than a “weak imitation.” “This is the culmination of that. It’s ‘Waymore’s Blues,’ but it bears little resemblance to the original. I played it for Cody and he said, ‘It sounds like Waylon on acid.'”
Jet, who plays all his own instruments, collaborated with Jinks’ on the Texas native’s new LP Lifers, co-writing the title track on that album, which was released July 27th. “Waymore’s Blues” will be released as a vinyl seven-inch in the fall, but before then Jet is slated to hit the road with Jinks and Whitey Morgan and also play Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, where he’ll open for Morgan on August 25th.