Whey Jennings‘ six-song Just Before the Dawn EP is out. The singer-songwriter unashamedly told his story, one of overcoming addiction and finding faith, in all of the songs on the deeply autobiographical project.
“I wanna change lives,’ Jennings tells Everything Nash, speaking of his goal with Just Before the Dawn. “I wanna show people that I am not who I used to be, for one. I’m a totally different human being who looks at life a lot differently than I ever did. Even on my worst day, I was never a bad human being. I didn’t like to hurt people, even back when I was hurting myself. But I didn’t really care if I was helping people either back then, because I was just trying to live and get high.”
“Daredevil,” which Jennings wrote with Dylan Cornell, is one of the most personal songs Jennings has ever released, and one he wouldn’t have been ready to release before now. Both Jennings and his wife, Taryn, decided to get sober during the pandemic, a decision that forever altered the course of their lives, for the better.
“I was gonna put that song actually on my last project, but it didn’t make the cut. I just wasn’t ready for that project,” Jennings notes. “We had just gotten sober. We were happy; we were really happy. We’re still really happy, but we were really, really happy at that point in time. My guitar player started playing this groove to it. And I just made up a bunch of lyrics. I’m her daredevil and she’s my rose pedal. And I just like the wordplay in it. The wordplay sounded just as beautiful as my wife is. So it worked out really well.”
Jennings co-wrote all six songs on Just Before the Dawn, putting his flag in the kind of country music he wants to be known for, both sonically and with the lyrical message, with all of the tracks on the record. Once an addict with little concern for anyone, including himself, the grandson of Waylon Jennings now wants to encourage others, in his life and with the songs on Just Before the Dawn, that there is another way, and a better way.
“This is who I am,” Jennings says proudly. “This is who I’m gonna be. This is what I’m gonna do until I’m dead …What I’m trying to do is use my music to show people an alternative way of living. Getting high and running around and partying and drinking and all that stuff, it was fun for a lot of years, but then it turned into a lot of heartache and a lot of pain. And it forced me to have kids that were raised without a dad for a lot of years. When you take the good time too far, it turns into a bad thing real fast.
“And once it turns into such a bad thing, people tend to give up on themselves and just say, ‘This is who I am,'” he adds. “That’s just not the facts. All you gotta do is wake up in the morning and do something different and the whole world changes around you.”
See a track list for Just Before the Dawn below. Find all of Jennings’ music and upcoming shows at WheyJennings.com.
Just Before the Dawn Track List:
1. Wild Child (Whey Jennings, Wes Shipp)
2. Old Country Song (Whey Jennings, Wes Shipp)
3. Daredevil (Whey Jennings, Dylan Cornell)
4. Just Before The Dawn (Whey Jennings, Shane Grove, Mark Sucoloski, David Wade, Jerome Desotaeux)
5. The Woman Who No Longer Feels (Whey Jennings, Wes Shipp, Gary Weber)
6. One Together (Whey Jennings, Eric Caldwell)