I'm not one who buys into genres much but seriously what is Outlaw Country?
We kinda know where it came from don't we? Country Music was all about the Nashville Sound back in the day and Willie, Waylon, Johnny and Kris road in and saved it from itself. There was David Allan Coe and Billy Joe Shaver, heck there was Jessi Coulter. But what does Outlaw Country mean now?
I would offer not much unless one considers beards and songs about drinking and fist fights. The whole idea with the original outlaws is they were bucking a system. They decided to tell the Nashville brass to fuck off, they were going to do it their way. What is the Nashville brass pushing now? For the most part Nashville executives are pushing pop music with a twang and an auto tune. Americana is now the real country music. One could also call it alt•country but my God folks it ain't Outlaw whatsoever, it is a genre in and of itself. There's some pedal steel, fiddle, telecaster twang, but beards aren't a requirement and the songs don't have to be about bar brawls.
It's about time Sirius Outlaw Country just changes its name to Americana Road or Alt Country Avenue. They have an ocean cruise each year called the Outlaw Country Cruise but most of the artists have never associated themselves with being outlaws.
Gram Parsons once pointed out his disdain for country rock, I feel just the same about Outlaw Country, beards shouldn't define any kind of music. And with that my friends I bid you goodnight.