This performance by Waylon Jennings was no April Fool's joke. This was the "new" Waylon, both personally and professionally. He had kicked a 20-year drug habit, split with RCA and signed a new deal with MCA Records. He discovered a passion for songwriting, teamed with legendary producer Jimmy Bowen, and produced some of the best work of his 30-year-plus career. He credited his wife and soul mate, Jessie Colter, for much of his inspiration.
This was Waylon's second trip to the ACL stage, but the one that best captures the raw edge and driving urgency that pushed country music way past its Nashville boundaries starting in the mid-1970's. He was described as the leader of the country "Outlaw" movement, which he often dismissed as just another marketing scam, but there's no denying that he turned the music on its head and took it way beyond its rural southern roots. This West Texas boy who worked as a DJ and started his own band at 14, then later played with Buddy Holly, left an indelible mark on the music he loved. He was a class act, this man called Hoss.