Waylon Jennings and the Waymore Blues Band "Never Say Die – The Final Concert Film" (Columbia/Legacy)
Friday, December 14 2007 @ 03:27 PM EST
Contributed by: redtunictroll
Much like his pioneering bands of the 1970s, Jennings' revitalized combo was a twangy country group with the power and presence of a rock band. The three-piece horn section added sharp accents, guitarist Reggie Young stood in for Jennings on lead with grace, and steel player Robby Turner (who also added mandolin and guitar) provided a flavorful presence throughout. Jennings was a natural showman, with down-to-earth patter between songs that jokingly took aim at his own infirmities ("I can still kick ass – you just gotta bring 'em up here"). He graciously shared the spotlight with guests John Anderson (for a super fine version of "Waymore's Blues" that clearly tickles Jennings), Montgomery-Gentry ("I'm a Ramblin' Man"), Travis Tritt ("I've Always Been Crazy"), and his wife Jessi Colter. A shot of Jennings gazing livingly at Colter as she sings "I'm Not Lisa" speaks volumes about their relationship, as does their duet on "Storms Never Last."
Additional highlights include a medley of Waylon & Willie tunes that found Jennings imitating Nelson's nasal delivery, a pairing of "Amanda" and "A Couple More Years" that hung emotionally on Jennings' mortality, the rare Shel Silverstein collaboration "It's the World's Gone Crazy (Cotillion)," the soulful "Shakin' the Blues," a cover of Hoyt Axton's "Never Been to Spain," and the never-give-up "Goin' Down Rockin'." Two staples of Jennings' live shows, The Band's "The Weight" and The Outlaws "Can't You See" brought the set to a stirring finish.
Columbia previously released 14 tracks from this show on 200's "Never Say Die" via the subsidiary Lucky Dog label. This 1-DVD, 2-CD set reproduces the show in sequence from the opening curtain to the final thank you. The DVD includes both stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, and in addition to the concert footage, there's a snappily produced 32-minute making-of featurette that includes interviews (Willie Nelson, Bobby Bare, Chet Atkins, Travis Tritt, Billy Joe Shaver, Jessi Colter, Jack Clement, Kris Kristofferson), photos, rehearsal footage. Rich Kienzle's liner notes are complemented by superb photos, rounding out a package that provides superb memories of one of country music's giants. [©2007 redtunictroll at hotmail dot com]