Friday, June 27, 2008
– Former long-time members of Waylon Jennings' band have formed Waymore's Outlaws as a tribute to the late singer with singer/songwriter Tommy Townsend on lead vocals. The band will make its headline debut at Franklin, Tenn.'s July 4th celebration.
"We're all really excited about getting out and playing this music that was such a big part of our lives, and I think Waylon's fans will really like Tommy's talents and energy on stage," said Jennings' longtime bass player/tour manager Jerry "Jigger" Bridges. "We wouldn't do this without the blessing of Jessi (Colter, Waylon's wife) and we plan to make her and the entire family proud."
In addition to performing Jennings' hits, Waymore's Outlaws will also back Townsend on his own music. He had a had some radio play last year with "Cowboys Want It" as half of the country duo Townsend O'Donnell. The duo parted ways earlier this year, and Townsend continues to sing, write and play as he pursues a career as a solo artist.
A native of Blairsville, Ga., Townsend had the rare distinction of being mentored by Jennings. He was a pivotal force in Townsend's life, and the two collaborated several times over the years, with Jennings playing and singing harmony on some tracks and even co-producing a full album on Tommy with Jigger Bridges.
Bridges, who spent 24 years on the road with Jennings, will continue to play bass and tour manage Waymore's Outlaws. A native of Red Bay, Ala., he strongly was influenced by the R&B emerging from nearby Muscle Shoals. Following a four-year stint as a staff musician at FAME Recording Studio, he moved to Nashville and began working with Jennings on the "Dukes of Hazzard" soundtrack. After contributing bass work on the Jennings' Greatest Hits album, Jennings asked him to join him on the road.
The band also includes the original drummer and right-hand man Richie Albright who began playing with Waylon and the Waylors in 1964 and toured and recorded with him for decades. He produced his first movie soundtrack for Roy Rogers' MacIntosh & TJ film, the music for the first series of the "Dukes of Hazzard" TV show and produced several albums on Jennings, Jessi and many other friends over the past 30-plus years. He most recently recorded and toured with Colter.
Fred Newell is a veteran of the Nashville studio scene who has recorded with everyone from Ray Charles to George Strait. In addition to being the staff lead guitarist on numerous TV shows including Nashville Now.
Lead and rhythm guitarist Eugene Moles was surrounded by the "Bakersfield Sound" via his father Gene Moles, Roy Nichols, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and others. In 1976, Haggard asked him to play guitar until Nichols recuperated from an illness. He joined Buck Owens and the Buckaroos and played on numerous "Hee Haw" shows. He moved to Nashville in 1987 to be more involved in the recording process and later worked at the Grand Ole Opry for 10 years with Del Reeves.