Category: Outlaw Country

Billy Joe Shaver ‘Long in the Tooth’- NEW MUSIC REVIEW

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#948 in the Series) is Billy Joe Shaver, Long in the Tooth On the Mount Rushmore of 70’s Highwayman Icons, a zip code that includes Willie Nelson,Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristoffersons, Billy Joe Shaver could very well be considered the fifth Beatle, the under the radar cowboy that jump-started the movement with Honky Tonk Heroes in 1973, and in the process put the outlaw in Outlaw Country, reshaped the image of Waylon Jennings, changed the landscape of Country music forever, and just might have laid the foundation for Roots Rock and the Americana movement that is in full force today. Having already used up most of his nine lives, he...

Sturgill Simpson ‘High Top Mountain’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#886 in the Series) is Sturgill Simpson, High Top Mountain High Top Mountain, the impressive new album by Country Singer Sturgill Simpson, is the best Outlaw Country throwback album released in years, and would have fit right in with Willie’s Red Headed Stranger, Waylon’s Dreaming My Dreams, and the Mighty Merle Classic, Back to the Barrooms.  This guy is that old school, that true, and that damn good. The opening track “Life Ain’t Fair and the World is Mean” sets the template for 12 tracks of superb playing and true-life story lines, with Sturgill himself telling you what he thinks of all of the outlaw hoopla that is starting to envelop and mostly...

Shooter Jennings ‘The Other Life’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#883 in the Series) is Shooter Jennings, The Other Life Much like his old man, the venerable Waylon Jennings, Shooter Jennings wears the blaze your own trail outlaw crown to musical perfection on his latest release The Other Life. Showing a consistently cool and carefully crafted career path going back to his debut 2005 release, Put the O Back in Country, Shooter Jennings may lure you into the listening kiosk with his pedigree, and he does play the modern day outlaw role to perfection, it is actually his own unique blending of Country Roots Rock Americana with a peppering of good old fashioned Rock & Roll soul that brings you back to...

Waylon Jennings ‘Dreaming My Dreams’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#882 in the Series) is Waylon Jennings, Dreaming My Dreams Carved in granite, right there alongside Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams on the country Music Mount Rushmore, and only two albums removed from virtually inventing the Outlaw Country movement with Honky Tonk Heroes, an album of stripped down honky tonk songs mostly penned by his friend Billy Joe Shaver, Waylon Jennings released Dreaming My Dream, which was to become his first number one record. Released in 1975, the record was in part a tribute album featuring “Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way?,” a tribute to Hank Williams which was to become Waylon’s signature song and one of the few...

Brewed in Texas

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#784 in the Series) is Brewed in Texas. Part collection of morality tales, part Saturday night party record, and part Austin hill country travelogue, Brewed in Texas  is quite possibly the best collection of drinking songs on one barstool since the Merle Haggard classic, Back to the Barrooms. Lovingly produced by Houston based Compadre Records, this album celebrates the joys of getting plastered, the necessity of drowning your sorrows, draining your tears in your beer, and most importantly, the Honky-Tonk. This album features contemporary Texas singer songwriters Kevin Fowler, Slaid Cleaves, Beaver Nelson and Hayes Carll, right beside hill country road dogs Jerry Jeff Walker, Tommy Alverson, and Rusty Weir, the bastard...

Willis Alan Ramsey “Willis Alan Ramsey”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#605 in the Series) is Willis Alan Ramsey, Willis Alan Ramsey Willis Alan Ramsey is the Harper Lee of the Americana, Alternative Country scene of the 1970’s and his eponymous album is his To Kill a Mockingbird. Released on New Year’s Day 1972 Willis Alan Ramsey was the first, last, and only album to be released by an artist that many consider to be one of the forefathers of the Outlaw sound who heavily influenced such Cosmic Cowboys as Townes Van Zandt, Lyle Lovett, Jerry Jeff Walker and Ray Wylie Hubbard. With a Texas Troubadour sound that is more Steve Earle, Guy Clark, and Joe Ely than Willie Nelson, Willis Alan quickly...

Waylon Jennings “Honky Tonk Heroes”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#592 in the Series) is Waylon Jennings, Honky Tonk Heroes The time was late summer 1972 and the somewhat grassroots movement that was to become known as “Outlaw Country” and was rooted in the anti-hero cowboy and celebrated rugged individualism vs. Brylcreem wearing, skinny tie sporting, image conscious country crooning,  was still in its embryonic stages  and had not yet galloped into public awareness. The place was Dripping Springs, Texas in a field that had been recently outfitted with a stage along with the accompanying infrastructure to put on what was to become an annual event, Willie Nelson’s Summer Picnic. On the bill that day were soon to be country icons Willie...

Steve Earle and the Dukes “Shut Up and Die Like an Aviator”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#297 in the Series, and #21 in the Live, Saturday Night Series) is Steve Earle and the Dukes, Shut Up and Die Like an Aviator. Steve Earle kicked off his career with two “4-Star”- country-rock, Americana, singer-songwriter styled albums. Then he decided to change his band and resurfaced with a bit of a harder sound.  That sound was evident on Copperhead Road and also on The Hard Way.  This live album was released from recordings of that tour. I loved those first two albums and was quite glad that a good chunk of them are represented here. We needed some good live versions of “Guitar Town, Someday, Good Ol’ Boy (Gettin’ Tough), I Ain’t...

Waylon Jennings “I’ve Always Been Crazy”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#176 in the Series) is Waylon Jennings, I’ve Always Been Crazy. Waylon Jennings always put out cool albums!  This one was one of the coolest. I’ve Always Been Crazy was one of his strongest efforts from beginning to end. This album actually rocked quite a bit. Yeah, there were a few ballads, but the title cut, “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Thing’s Done Got Out of Hand,” “A Long Time Ago” all rolled along pretty good. “A Long Time Ago” was co-written with the great Shel Silverstein. Silverstein was long known for his cartoon work and even wrote A Boy Named Sue.  He also wrote another song on the album called “Whistlers and...