Review: Waylon Jennings & the .357′s, “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean”

Not gonna lie: “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” has never been one of my favorite Waylon hits. Call me what you will, but I’ve always thought the flat production employed in that studio recording just doesn’t quite give the song the momentum it needs to chug along successfully for the full three and-a-half minutes, which ultimately dulls the piece’s fairly interesting story .

That said, I dig it appreciably more in live settings that allow the electric guitars to blast out the song’s sweet country-rock licks at full power. And that’s the approach that seems to be at play in this new take on the Outlaw anthem, an exciting preview of Jennings’ upcoming collaboration with son Shooter and Shooter’s southern rock outfit, the .357′s. The album is titled Waylon Forever, and that moniker seems appropriate; if this steel-heavy track is any indication, the guests have done a pretty good job of updating the older material for future generations without detonating out the tradition with unnecessary electric trickery.

But for all the points the younger Jennings’ crew scores with their arrangement, the ultimate high of this rendition is the vocal, which finds the late older Jennings (who would have been around sixty-eight at the the time of this recording in 1995) ripping into the iconic number with a fiery conviction that only makes it all sound that much more bad-ass. If for some reason you’ve never heard “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” before, consider this a rare and valuable opportunity to experience a country-rock song that is actually equal parts country and rock. If you’re a veteran, consider this a rare and valuable opportunity to hear a signature spell outcast by its own enigmatic wizard.

Grade: A-

Listen: “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean”

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11 Comments

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11 Responses to Review: Waylon Jennings & the .357′s, “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean”

  1. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    The review’s as cool as the track. It’s a rip-roaring treat. I agree that the added electricity here better complements the song.

  2. I’ve played this track 17 times already. Loving it.

  3. Yeah, this is kinda awesome.

  4. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yeah, this is fun! I agree. I like this better than the original too.

  5. I totally agree. And while we’re on the subject, I like Norah Jones doing “Wurlitzer Prize” more than Waylon’s original, too.

  6. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Kevin, me too, since we seem to be in blasphemous confession mode.

  7. I like Norah’s “Wurlitzer” better as well. But I don’t feel too blasphemous with this one; at least it’s still Waylon at the helm.

  8. You people are a bunch of heathens. ;) I wouldn’t say that I prefer this to the original, but it is surprisingly good for a posthumous remix/overdub type of deal.

  9. @Kevin & Leeann: I also agree with you guys, for me it’s much more moving and rich than the original version. Talking about the album “Waylon Forever” this album is not only carefully crafted with deeply personal but also made with emotional well thought out tribute to a father. It’s so special :)

  10. This is a blast from the past for sure.:) Back when CM Wilcox went by John Maglite.

  11. Still a great review too.

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