Shooter Jennings is releasing Black Ribbons on March 2. It looks to be a seriously amazing album, heavily political, outlaw country mixed with Skinny Puppy and Ministry.
“Tonight I’ve chosen to play the one band the American Fascicrats don’t want me to play. Tonight I’m going off the air with the music of Hierophant. For those of you not familiar, you’ll get a taste of Hierophant’s music tonight – their message, their light.”
– Will O’ The Wisp
The album is bound together by the voice of Will O’ The Wisp, a late-night talk-radio beatnik who is in the last hour of his final broadcast before the airwaves are overtaken by “government-approved and regulated transmissions.” In retaliation for his muzzling, he speaks his mind like never before, punctuating his rants with selections from the discography of Hierophant. Throughout the album’s 14 songs, Will O’ The Wisp flits in and out, painting an apocalyptic picture of what America could become in the not-so-distant future, while offering his loyal listeners—from whom he is about to be permanently cut off—the unvarnished truth.
To quote from another son of a country legend, he’s “just carrying on an old family tradition.” His dad took on the Nashville establishment in 1972 and won, becoming the first country star to renegotiate a contract, getting full creative freedom. With Black Ribbons, Shooter may also be about to create something quite new and important.
Let’s hope so. We need some anthems.