David Allan Coe
Kristofferson
Willie Nelson

Country » Progressive Country » Outlaw Country

Outlaw Country was one of the more significant trends in country music in the '70s. During that decade, many of the most popular hardcore country singers of the '60s -- from George Jones to Merle Haggard -- softened their sound slightly, moving away from their honky tonk roots. While the outlaws weren't strictly honky tonk -- they were as much storytellers in the tradition of folk songwriters as they were honky tonk vocalists -- they kept that spirit alive. Outlaws didn't play by Nashville's rules. They didn't change their music to fit the heavily produced, pop-oriented Nashville sound, nor did they go out of their way to fit into the accepted conventions of country music. Instead, they created an edgy form of hardcore country that was influenced by rock & roll, folk, and blues. Ironically, two of the leading figures of the movement -- Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson -- had their roots in the music industry, but by the time they came into their own as recording artists in the mid-'70s, they had developed a unique, defiant way of performing. Several other musicians -- including David Allan Coe, Billy Joe Shaver, and Tompall Glaser -- followed in their footsteps, and the outlaws were quite popular for a period of three to four years. At the end of the '70s, the urban cowboy movement easily eclipsed the outlaw movement in terms of commercial appeal, but the outlaws had a lasting influence. During the '80s, certain neo-traditionalists owed a bit of their sound to the outlaws, while a whole breed of songwriters, led by Steve Earle, demonstrated a massive debt to the outlaws and their fusion of country, folk, and rock.

Outlaw Country Artists Highlights

David Allan Coe
David Allan Coe
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Jessi Colter
Jessi Colter
Waylon Jennings
Waylon Jennings
Kris Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson
Hank Williams, Jr.
Hank Williams, Jr.

More Outlaw Country Artists

Outlaw Country Album Highlights

Honky Tonk Heroes
Waylon Jennings
Honky Tonk Heroes
Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson
Kristofferson
Restless Wind: The Legendary Billy Joe Shaver 1973-1987
Billy Joe Shaver
Restless Wind: The ...
The Guitar Song
Jamey Johnson
The Guitar Song
Shotgun Willie
Willie Nelson
Shotgun Willie
Take This Job and Shove It
Johnny Paycheck
Take This Job and Shove It

More Outlaw Country Albums

Outlaw Country Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
Lonesome, On'ry and Mean Waylon Jennings
Bloody Mary Morning Willie Nelson
She Even Woke Me up to Say Goodbye Mickey Newbury
Take This Job and Shove It Johnny Paycheck
I'm Not Lisa Jessi Colter
Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother Jerry Jeff Walker
If That Ain't Country David Allan Coe
Help Me Make It Through the Night Kris Kristofferson
Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed Kinky Friedman
Desperados Waiting for a Train Jerry Jeff Walker

More Outlaw Country Songs

Other Styles in Progressive Country