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Posts tagged "Songs of the Outlaw"


From the Archives: Rock Bottom Rescue in Merle Haggard’s “How Did You Find Me Here?”

Timely one from our “Songs of the Outlaw” series. Rest in peace, Hag.  As we’ve said before, we’ll say again, if anyone knows about compulsive meandering, if anyone characterizes the triumphs and tribulations of going it on your own, it’s the American outlaw. It’s a unique approach to rebellion, one that’s openly translated freedom as […]

“How Did You Find Me Here?”: American Music’s Love-Laden Legacy (A Conference Breakout Primer)

“200-proof lovin’ is all the proof I need.” –Jason & The Scorchers One of Mockingbird’s deepest wells is the life-giving fount flowing from all forms of American music, from Elvis to Johnny to Michael to Axl. From the folk-lineaged prophecies to the jukebox-empty-bar country confessional to the anthemic rock-throb of a power ballad, to the […]

Songs of the Outlaw: Yours, Mine, and Billy Joe Shaver’s “Serious Souls”

Kris Kristofferson is known to have said that Billy Joe Shaver may be the greatest living songwriter, the Hemingway of songwriting, but also that, if life were TV, he’d be on at 4 A.M. He has written songs for Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, George Jones, Patty Loveless, the Allman Brothers; Waylon Jennings used […]

Songs of the Outlaw: Waylon Jennings on Why It’s So Hard to “Lay It Down”

You may have heard this before. When Waylon Jennings was getting his start in the late 50s, touring with the “Big Bopper” J.P. Richardson, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens, he elected to take a chartered bus on a cold, 300-mile drive to Fargo, giving up his plane seat so that another of the crew could […]

Songs of the Outlaw: Waylon Jennings, 1000-Mile Ramblings, and the “Freedom to Stay”

Waylon Jennings, or “Hoss,” or “Waymore,” is the original Nashville Rebel. When he wasn’t allowed to have long hair, or play his own guitar in recording sessions, or use his own band in recording sessions, he did it anyways. Nashville recording giants, moving into what later became known as the Countrypolitan Nashville sound, the variety […]

Songs of the Outlaw: Hats, Nails, and Merle Haggard’s “Ramblin’ Fever”

This post begins a long-overdue (and potentially endless) series on the gems of country music’s Outlaw variety, which was initially predicated on the raw, coarse, and unyielding boot-scuffing that had been lost in Nashville’s popularizing of country music in the 1960s and 70s. With the likes of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, […]