Christine Smith’s recommendation: “Waylon Jennings’ voice kills me. The first time I heard it, I stopped dead in my tracks. At first his voice made me slightly uncomfortable and I don’t even know why, but it really speaks to me. There’s so much pain and bad ass attitude in there. Even when it’s just a two chord song, there’s so much going on, coming on like a train, and the production is outstanding. Classic. Makes me wanna drink cheap whiskey!
I was even more blown away when Dave (co-member of Marah) told me that Waylon had played bass in Buddy Holly’s band The Crickets and was supposed to be on the plane that fateful night! They were best buddies, joking around when they spoke these final words: “I hope your car crashes” said Buddy. “I hope your plane crashes” said Waylon. It wasn’t until years later that Waylon began to establish himself as a solo artist. I think it’s miraculous that he kept going. He went through so much shit and you can hear it and feel it in all his music. He is a true country hero. God rest his soul.”
New to Waylon? Christine recommends you start here: Waylon Jennings – Greatest Hits on vinyl. We have a record bar here at Marah HQ and that record is always in heavy rotation. It will put you in a trance. Standout tracks: Luckenback, Texas, I’m a Ramblin’ Man, Honky Tonk Heroes, Mamas Don’t Let your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys (sung with Willie Nelson), Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.”
About our guest author, Christine Smith: Christine is the backing vocalist/multi-instrumentalist (go to a show to see her play keyboards, foot-tambourine and harmonica…all at once) and co-leader (Dave Bielanko clearly spells out her huge contributions here) of Marah, the Philly band whose die-hard fan base includes the likes of Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen. Dave and Christine most recently put out Life is a Problem, a self described “folked up mess of American Rock n Roll” that needs to find its way into your iTunes library. Christine also has made a fine solo record (Tomorrow Blues, described as “F***ing brilliant!” by Replacements bass player, Tommy Stinson) and right now is gearing up to hit the road with Marah and Jesse Malin for a series of Rock and Roll Christmas shows. Get in the spirit and buy a ticket! Show dates and locations are just a click away.