Waylon Jennings is one of the few artists who sound (and look) knowledgeable when speaking of bad times and broken-down love affairs. Trouble is, there are too few songs available to match his authenticity. The title cut [of Lonesome, On'ry & Mean] and San Francisco Mabel Joy are earthy but too sensationalized. Lay It Down, though appealing, is a bit sophisticated…. Some good and meaningful music among the weaknesses.
Daniel Harmon, "The Journal Reviews: 'Lonesome, On'ry & Mean'," in Music Journal (copyright © 1973 by Sar-Les Music, Inc.), Vol. XXXI, No. 7, September, 1973, p. 44.