Spotlight: Jessi Colter

10pm, Continental Club

Spotlight: Jessi Colter

We caught up with Jessi Colter on the way back from the beauty salon in Scottsdale, Ariz. Needless to say, it's been a rough couple of years since Waylon Jennings died.

"It was horrible," says his widow, Colter, candidly. "Horrible. Never had I encountered the blank screen like this. Waylon and I were so entwined all those years, and then I was half of who I was. I had to figure out what I even do.

"Ben Harper pulled me through musically. He did that killer version of 'Waymore's Blues' that's on the RCA tribute album and helped me realize that maybe there's a place for me in the market."

Now, two years down the line, there's plenty on Colter's plate. There was last year's An Outlaw... A Lady: The Very Best of Jessi Colter, and this year, Universal South is releasing a CD tie-in with The Passion of the Christ that features songs by Leon Russell, Dwight Yoakam, the Blind Boys of Alabama, as well as a song by Colter and 27-year-old son Shooter Jennings. Don Was has also helmed an album of material by Colter that's currently being shopped around.

There's also the Outlaw Connection, an annual tribute at Wild Bill's in Scottsdale, where Jennings played his first gig. The show corrals the likes of Steve Van Zandt, Hank Jr., Tony Joe White, and Was Not Was, among others, with proceeds going to charity. Colter's SXSW showcase features son Shooter, late of L.A.'s Stargunn.

Colter goes on to rhapsodize rapid-fire about the Stones' Exile on Main Street, the White Stripes, Robert Johnson, and AC/DC, and even her brief marriage to Duane Eddy in the early Sixties. It may have been rough, but Colter's back with a vengeance.

"I knew the danger of just sitting and thinking, but instead I made myself take steps toward the future every day."

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