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Outlaws: Marketing Ploy or A Real Thing?

Garden and Gun Magazine recently listed some Country “outlaws” we all need to be on the lookout for:

Whitey morgan

Whitey Morgan

Aubrie Sellers, Parker Millsap, Margo Price, Andrew Combs, Brandy Clark, Cale Tyson, Whitey Morgan, Lindi Ortega, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Marlon Williams, Sam Outlaw and Banditos.

Good suggestions for sure, but there were a couple we wouldn’t necessarily call Outlaw.  But what do we know?  So we went to a favorite source for these type of questions: our peeps in social media land!

A few reminded us that #1, if you call yourself an “outlaw,” you can NOT be an outlaw.  In fact, Daniel Koller added this little nugget of genius: “No one who brands themselves as Outlaw.  Obviously, marketing is a ploy. I’m not sure any of the ‘outlaws’ we all like ever really say ‘I’m an outlaw.’  Outlaw Country is just another way for people to make money. Listen to what you like. Sometimes zoning out to some bubble gum pop is what you need, sometimes it’s gangster rap, sometimes it’s mindless ‘country’ (think FGL,) and sometimes it’s drinking to sad songs and traditional country. No one is going to like everything someone else does.”

Another great response came from singer/songwriter Ziggy Moonshine: “To be honest and frank, there are not many outlaws. Folks like to call themselves ‘Outlaws,’ but when have they done time, run from the law, fight, or even struggled one bit with serious addiction issues? The artist that are Outlaws have lived their music, poured their very soul out, lost it all a time or two, and undeniably hold the scars of their lives. If this is the case, I am your poster boy of an Outlaw. But even me, finding God doesn’t take away the hurt and the pain of my past. Thank goodness that is why I can write songs like ‘Whiskey Lies,’ ‘Gypsy Lullaby,’ ‘Pins and Needles,’ etc.”

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The Highwaymen: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings

Ziggy went on to say: “To me it’s more about not conforming to the Nashville machine. It is a business, and they are going to jump on whatever bandwagon they can to sell records, and people will sell their soul, for a little bit of fame and fortune, glitz and glam. But there is great hope for songwriter’s who are the outlaws, and don’t play by the rules. Underground music has always been my thing, and I love it when I do see the underground artist get the credit they deserve. I haven’t made it rich being an underground artist, but there are those who will buy their way to get where they don’t deserve. I think I’ll stay on my side of the fence, a little more honest, and true to the grit. God bless Johnny Cash, Waylon, Willie, Hag, Jones, and Coe. I know there are more, but these were the Outlaws, we can’t compare to them.”

That’s all very true, of course, but seeing as how a reputable magazine like Garden and Gun brought the subject up, we’re gonna proceed with it as well.

Here are some OTHER great suggestions to get your “outlaw” music fix:

Billy Joe Shaver

Ray Wylie Hubbard

Jason Boland and the Stragglers

Dale Watson

Cody Jinks

Chris Knight

Richie Allbright

Jarrod Birmingham

Jackson Taylor

Brandon Jenkins

Bleu Edmondson

Cody Canada and The Departed

Seth James

Reed Brothers

James Pardo

Austin Allsup

Austin Gilliam

Tony Taylor

Beverly Hensley

Kori Free and the Groove Hounds

Texas Renegade

Outlaw Country can be whatever you want it to be, whether it is an example of the artist’s lifestyle, the artist’s songwriting, the fact he/she has gone to jail, an amazing guitar lick or as one person suggested, that the artist is just plain “off the grid.”  Ultimately, it comes down to this, if you love it, support it!

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