Led by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, the Outlaw Movement of the 1970s was a musical revolt against the so-called Nashville Sound, the polished country/pop fusion created to lure listeners back to country music in the late ’50s when rock came rolling along. Artists like Kris Kristofferson, Jessi Colter, Jerry Jeff Walker, David Allan Coe, Tom T. Hall, Billy Joe Shaver, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Tompall Glaser and more looked to liberate country music by asserting their own creative independence and influence.
The legacy of the Outlaw Movement continued through the ’80s and ’90s with artist like Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam, Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart, The Mavericks and more. It continues today with the sounds of Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price and Chris Stapleton.
As Chris Stapleton told Kix Brooks of American Country Countdown, he once got a solid piece of “outlaw” advice from Marty Stuart, the newest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
“Marty Stuart told me one time that a real outlaw doesn’t need a sign that says he’s one,” says Chris to Kix. “And, so whatever that means, it always stuck in the back of my brain, so the moniker ‘outlaw’ has become something that we throw around like using the word ‘artist,’ like it’s a job you can apply for . . . It’s not for any of us to apply to ourselves. It just kind of happens if somebody wants to give it to you or those who have come before think enough of you to let you use it, and that’s a great thing.”
Chris will release his new studio album, Starting Over, on Nov. 13. The 14-track offering features 11 songs that Chris co-penned, as well as three covers: John Fogerty’s “Joy Of My Life” and Guy Clark’s “Worry B Gone” and “Old Friends.” The new album was recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, with additional work completed at Muscle Shoals Sound and Compass Sound Studio. Produced by Dave Cobb, who also plays acoustic guitar, the record features wife Morgane Stapleton (vocals, tambourine), with longtime bandmates J.T. Cure (bass) and Derek Mixon (drums). Special guests include musicians Mike Campbell (electric guitar), Benmont Tench (Hammond B3 organ) and Paul Franklin (pedal steel), as well as the All Voices Choir who are featured on “Watch You Burn.”
photo by Tammie Arroyo, AFF-USA.com