Published Sep 24, 2012What Is It?
This movement originated in the early '70s in Texas, where established artists like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings had relocated from Nashville and allied themselves with rock audiences. Outlaw has since become a tag sought by any country artist whose sound and ideology run counter to the Nashville establishment's ultra-conservatism.
Who's Doing It?
Hank III (pictured), Jamey Johnson, Lucinda Williams, Hayes Carll, Corb Lund, Ryan Bingham, the Divorcees, Romi Mayes, Shooter Jennings, Todd Snider, Fred Eaglesmith.
Where Should I Start?
Willie Nelson's Shotgun Willie and Waylon Jennings' Honky Tonk Heroes. Later touchstones include Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska and Steve Earle's Copperhead Road. A screening of Crazy Heart wouldn't hurt.
Check out Corb Lund's latest, Cabin Fever; Ryan Bingham's latest, Tomorrowland, confirms his place as one of America's best young songwriters. Jamey Johnson's new Hank Cochran tribute, Living For A Song, features duets with Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, and others.