‘They Called Us Outlaws’ Produced by Jessi Colter To Be Released

Interview subjects include Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris

Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Miranda Lambert, Margo Price, Matthew McConaughey, and Eric Church are set to appear in a new epic and comprehensive new documentary on the history of the Outlaw Country movement.

The six-part, 12-hour series They Called Us Outlaws was produced by Jessi Colter in partnership with the Country Music Hall of Fame and tells the story of the era’s game-changing shifts in country music, featuring over 75 interviews with those who were there, as well as those who carry the torch today.

The term “outlaw country” is a genre of country music that was developed in the 1970s and early 1980s by a small group of performers known as the outlaw movement who fought for and won their creative freedom outside of Nashville.

The “outlaws” broke away from the Nashville sound, stripped the music down to its country core, and infused it with a rock attitude. City streets like Lubbock’s Pershing Street and Austin’s Congress Avenue became creative arteries of outlaw country, while Nashville remained the country music capital.

Some of the most successful members of the movement were Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and David Allan Coe.

Jennings described his experience in that city’s recording industry as like working on an assembly line, in which records were produced like “clockwork”.

Although Jennings and Nelson are regarded as the stereotypical outlaws, several other writers and performers provided the material that infused the movement with the outlaw spirit.

Also included in the documentary- which was shot over a decade by director Eric Geadelmann and his Shadowbrook Studios – are some of the last ever on-camera conversations with late legends of the movement like Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Billy Joe Shaver, and Tom T. Hall.

Interspersed with these incredible interviews is a treasure trove of rare and never-before-seen performances from the height of Outlaw Country.


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20th century rural sociologist, Carl Frederick Kraenzel, coined the term ‘Yonland’ to describe the in-between places left indistinct and vague on a map. Yonlander is a rural publication designed for those outside the city limit sign pursuing a simple, independent lifestyle.


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