Eric Church Caught w/ Foot In Mouth Over Outlaw Image
Eric Church has been stirring the pot quite a bit lately, calling out Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert amongst others in a recent Rolling Stone article for their reality show past, before issuing an apology that was curiously devoid of an apology to Blake Shelton, the main protagonist of Church’s criticisms.
Now as Church continues to make the media rounds in support of his current tour with Brantley Gilbert, he stopped to talk to American Songwriter where the topic of being an “Outlaw” came up. Church is regularly lumped with the crop of “new Outlaws” that can include people as varying as Justin More and Gretchen Wilson, to Jamey Johnson.
Justin Moore famously proclaimed himself an “Outlaw” on his album Outlaws Like Me, to the chagrin of many. But Eric has been smart heretofore of straddling the Outlaw line, allowing others to use the term when referring to him, but stopping short of using the term on himself to be insulated from any backlash. For example, at the CMA awards in November, Brad Paisley introduced Eric as “country’s latest Outlaw” before his performance.
These award shows are so choreographed and exquisitely planned, it is ridiculous to think that Church’s management was not at least briefed on how he would be introduced. Church has certainly never refuted that term when it has been used to describe him. Until now:
American Songwriter: People have been calling you an outlaw. Is that an image you’ve tried to create for yourself?
Eric Church: Oh god. No! Not at all. I think we get thrown into that category because of our career path. For a long time, it wasn’t cool to play the kind of music we did. It wasn’t cool to talk about what we talked about. We were pariahs, and when we got fired from the Rascal Flatts tour, we were troublemakers. I think that’s where the outlaw name comes from, but I prefer to think there’s already been an outlaw movement, and I think we can leave it at that. I’m not into branding what we do, because that just sensationalizes things, when it should be about the music.
Yet as one Saving Country Music reader named Chris easily sniffed out, a quick check of Eric Church’s website finds a whole page dedicated to “Outlaw” branding, with “a brand new “Outlaw T-Shirt” now available for sale in the online store, which features Eric’s signature Skull logo. Be one of the first to own it!”
Ouch. Sucks to miss that one. And these products were added in July 2011, so there no back pedal of saying there was a breakdown in communication with his merch store.
But in classic Eric Church fashion, he keeps open the idea of plausible deniability by not directly calling himself an “Outlaw”. Or as I’ve said before Eric Church Wants It Both Ways.
Meanwhile the beautiful “Outlaw” term and how it pertains to country music continues to be besmirched where even the most loyal “Outlaw” fans want to take the term behind the barn and put it out of its misery like an old dog with cataracts and arthritis in its legs and a tumor the size of a tennis ball clogging its airway.
It’s a shame, because when it comes to country radio, there is much worse than Eric Church. But his continuing missteps and insistence on image, Outlaw or otherwise, continues to make him very hard to like.
May 2, 2012 @ 1:03 pm
As an outlaw radio broadcaster for over 10 years ( I personally feel OK saying ‘outlaw’) I will say this…OUTLAWS DO OUTLAW THINGS! I am still surprised after all these years at the alleged “outlaws” in country music who RUN down to a clear channel communication owned radio station as fast as they can and do an interview or session with some numbskull corporate DJ …I know, I know we all need money…but when indie media or much less, a pirate station asks them on…..well, they hide in a dark corner. Not all of them mind you! There are some real outlaw country guys out there these days..but some of the most visible and even most celebrated are just full of shit when ya start digging.
May 2, 2012 @ 1:29 pm
I personally think that once you have reached CMA Awards status, you cannot be labeled an “outlaw.” That’s about as mainstream as it gets. People like Brent Amaker & The Rodeo are “outlaws”, not this watered down, rock & roll country drivel.
May 2, 2012 @ 3:07 pm
Remember when “gansta rappas” would call out studios gangstas? What ever happened to those days? We’ve got some “Studio Outlaws” on our hands.
Fifth on the Floor
May 2, 2012 @ 4:00 pm
Hah! Hear hear.
It’s a dead horse, I know, but the whole “outlaw” term can take a flying leap. Every person I know, musician or otherwise, who I’d consider well within the definition of an outlaw wouldn’t dream of ever calling themselves one.
Same with the term “country”, come to think of it.
May 3, 2012 @ 10:11 pm
Hey Fifth on the Floor ya’ll def need to come to muddy roots this year!
Fifth on the Floor
May 4, 2012 @ 12:32 am
We’ll see where we’re at round then!
May 2, 2012 @ 3:54 pm
Do outlaws pay $25 for t-shirts?
May 3, 2012 @ 7:02 pm
absolutely not I was just thinking damn thats a expensive tshirt and I justified my Hank III one because I knew where the money was going. Also, good to see Fifth on here!
May 2, 2012 @ 4:02 pm
There are some really outlaws out there but Church is not one of them.
May 2, 2012 @ 4:23 pm
Meant to add as Waylon said in his one song
“This outlaw thing done got out of hand” can’t remember which song it was.
and as much as Toby Keith thinks he’s an outlaw he ain’t imho he is the biggest turd in country music ever.
May 2, 2012 @ 10:08 pm
You don’t know which Waylon song that came from? Maybe SavingCountryMusic.com should start doing a weekly history lesson.
May 2, 2012 @ 10:57 pm
I agree, we should never pass up an opportunity to educate. Yes Merlefan52, you’re totally right! Waylon put out the song “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” in 1975 on the album “Dreaming My Dreams” produced by the wonderful Jack Clement. It was released as a single and became a #1 song, Waylon’s 4th #1 at the time. The song is highlighted by Waylon’s signature simple bass beat, and features only two chords, very unusual for a country song, or any song for that matter. This approach really helps the song drive home Waylon’s message. Waylon was not as big of a songwriter as many people think, but the songs he wrote were potent ones, including this one. I consider it the greatest anthem against the influence of business on music.
This is my favorite version, recorded at the Grand Ole Opry house, with the great Ralph Mooney on pedal steel:
May 3, 2012 @ 4:51 am
May 3, 2012 @ 6:56 am
Thanks for posting this brilliant performance
May 3, 2012 @ 8:25 am
I just want to point out that the lyrics form that song came from a song called “Dont You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand” and it was released in october of 78 as the second single off of the “I’ve Always Been Crazy” album.
This is a link to the slower version of the song from the “Waylon Forever” album.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiKqTM0hV0c
This songs about the night they spent brainwashing you with me
Nashville called me an outlaw to help thier revenue stream
Rascal Flatts sent a posse in like I aint never seen…
I think Rachel Brook said it best when she said “I’ll think something different as soon as you say: “I’ve worked all my life to obtain all this strife and now you should listen to me.
ohh and tigg, That video of ol waylon at the ryman is one of my favorites too. that little grin he offers at 3:03 minuets in, thats effn outlaw… haha
May 3, 2012 @ 8:27 am
“I don’t think Hank done it this way” is a great song” but the song the guy was referring to is “Don’t you think this outlaw bit has done got out of hand” from the 1978 album ‘I’ve Always Been Crazy’.
May 3, 2012 @ 8:30 am
Looks like WaymoreWilliams beat me to the punch while I was typing!
May 3, 2012 @ 8:42 am
Yeah, I’m an idiot. That’s what I get for posting comments at 2AM. But I was really fervent in my stupidity! Doesn’t that count for something?
May 3, 2012 @ 10:40 am
Trigg – You really, really should consider a weekly or bi-weekly history article.
May 3, 2012 @ 12:44 pm
I would love to do that, and to do more reviews of vintage albums. As with everything it’s always a time issue, and there’s so many great new projects being released all the time, I’m always under pressure to keep up with the here and now.
May 4, 2012 @ 4:17 pm
Maybe you need to hire some help! We’ve got a way of life on the line here!
May 3, 2012 @ 7:06 pm
and that video alone shows why ol Waylon will always be my #1
May 2, 2012 @ 5:02 pm
Since when has Eric Church done what everybody else does? His music and songwriting skills are one of kind. His music is indeed “outlaw” compared to what is considered “country” on the radio today.
May 2, 2012 @ 5:22 pm
Who else is “outlaw” Brian? I respect your opinion…but who are these music outlaws?
May 2, 2012 @ 7:51 pm
You’re totally right. But he’s also hypocritical and an asshole, qualities that are holding his music back. It’s a shame.
May 3, 2012 @ 12:48 pm
I think you are reading to much into him, Play the tracks if you like them you like them. I for one never plan on being in a position where am going to have drinks and bullshit with this guy, nor would I want to, but when I am having some drinks and shooting the breeze theirs much worse soundtracks to be playing.
My point is who gives a shit about a musician’s personality Shooter comes across as one of the most down to earth guys around; does that make you enjoy his music more?
February 17, 2014 @ 3:20 pm
It’s about the music the man is from a small town near me in the country and sings about what life is like here and what he does along with what a lot of people would call not only outlaw sound but out law ways…screw all these politics and another outlaw sing is hank the third Jamey and the list doesn’t go to much further.
May 2, 2012 @ 7:07 pm
Just wondering if it ever occurred to you that maybe his fans were requesting shirts that say something on those lines. While he may not be an “Outlaw” in most of your eyes, his fans blieve he is pretty darn close to a movement we miss. Most of us are sick and tired of hearing the crap that they call music spewing out of the country stations today. We are sick of having Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, and even Kenny Chesney shoved down our throats. You want to talk about songs that all sound the same, listen to that crap and tell me they arent all the same. Eric puts on one hellva concert, gives it his all and because of that he has some of the most rabid fans in country today that are willing to travel hundreds of miles just to see him again. Don’t bash the man for something his fans may have started and he is just giving them what they want. At least he is trying to pay respect for some of the greats in his songs. After all he must be doing something right considering he got Merle to sing with him on “Sinners like me”
May 2, 2012 @ 7:49 pm
“While he may not be an “Outlaw” in most of your eyes”¦
He”™s not an Outlaw in his OWN eyes! Did you read the quote above? “Oh god. No! Not at all.” was his answer to if he wanted to be seen as an Outlaw.
“We are sick of having Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, and even Kenny Chesney shoved down our throats.
Amen sister, and welcome home! We”™ve been complaining about the state of country music for going on 5 years strong, and you”™re right Eric Church is better, or at least more country than many of these artists. But that doesn”™t give him license to be an asshole, and to give people and entities like this website and its readers a bad name by being hypocritical and typecasting the anti-pop country movement. I want to like Eric Church, you have no idea. I bent my ear as far as I could and fought through mounds of boos and hisses from my own readers to write positive reviews for the man and put my own name behind him as someone people should give a chance. But I can”™t sell Eric Church on a personal level with the actions and hypocrisy he regularly illustrates. He”™s not being an Outlaw, he”™s being an asshole, and he should be better than this. Lead by example. Lead with your music.
And as far as his fans demanding those T-Shirts, that actually makes sense to me, but if I were him and/or his management, I would have said tough titty, make your own, especially when he”™s going to turn around and say these kinds of things in interviews.
December 9, 2012 @ 3:57 am
I dont know if Eric Church is outlaw or not and I agree with many of the comments on this board. He is one of, if not THE most original artist in today’s country music. I think its funny that you say he is no outlaw and that he is an asshole or a dickhead. My question is..what is your definition of an outlaw? A nice gentle guy that would never call someone out or hurt someones feelings? A guy that doesnt say whatever the hell is on his mind? Ive watched many Church interviews and got to do a meet and greet with him once and I will say he is def not a people person. He even ADMITS that. But he has never been about pleasin people outside of makin good music. He is a true artist, which are hard to come by these days in ANY genre of music. Look up all his songs that have been on his albums and you see that he has solo written most of them and has been atleast a co-writer on all the others. Tell me one artist that can say that. The outlaw argument is stupid, and yes, if you call the country music on the radio ‘country music’ then eric church definitely is ‘outlaw music’
June 23, 2015 @ 10:02 pm
I’m good with his music and aside from Mighty Merle and Waylon there just aren’t anymore real outlaws.that said he makes good music . Imo the best country song I ever heard is still a George rendition written by Red Lane , tell me something bad about Tulsa. No outlaw needed when you turn this kind of gold. Other than that Joe Nichols is right up there with his stuff. Again ,no outlaw needed.
May 2, 2012 @ 10:27 pm
What does he have to do? What if he said yes, he does consider himself an outlaw? Everyone on this website would crucify him. So it doesn’t matter what his response was, he’d get backlash. He says he’s not an outlaw. People act like he doesn’t know the outlaw history and part it played in country music. I think he had a great answer to that question saying he took a similar path as in recording music that wasn’t in between the lines and building his career one show at a time. Those shirts definitely could have been a demand from his fans. Eric doesn’t regulate his own facebook or myspace and he doesn’t have a twitter so I’m pretty sure the merchandise section on his website is a low priority item on his mind. It’s about the music. Yes, he is somewhat arrogant and an asshole for calling out people like Blake and Carrie Underwood, but isn’t that better than giving in and being a music row d bag? I think it’s a step forward to decent country music for music row artists.
May 3, 2012 @ 8:51 am
What does he have to do? Do nothing, don’t speak to the media. Waylon went a decade once without giving a single interview while he was selling out football stadiums. Let your music speak for you.
And I understand the notion of giving his fans what they want in merch, but he has to be cognisant of what he’s selling with his name on it. My guess is Taylor Swift sells 3 times the merch as Eric Church does, and you can guarantee she personally approves every design. If Eric Church doesn’t have control of his own message, that’s not very smart, and it’s certainly not very “Outlaw”.
May 7, 2012 @ 1:21 am
Alright yes I do not give a shit about the term “outlaw”. I agree it is gone and done with Waylon and Cash. What is EC to say when a newspaper (Rolling Stone) asks him about other people categorizing him with the “new” outlaws? He’s gonna say no because he knows he isn’t one.
My question to you is…even though EC is with music row, why does it piss you off if yes he is an arrogant asshole, but he calls out fake people? Isn’t that what this website is about? EC is a music row artist who is saying what he wants to say and writing his own songs (I know you approve of at least his most recent album), so despite the arrogance I think he’s bringing to light some issues in country music that most artist can’t due to their lack of mainstream succeus.
May 7, 2012 @ 7:40 am
Wanna know what an artist should do? Shut the fuck up and just make music and make better music than the shit you’re calling out in an interview. Make music that you don’t care if it makes a ACM/CMA grammy nominee list.
Eric Church tries to fit the trend. Always has. Now he is trying to talk his way in and out of it, rather than be just a musician and, well…just be a true musician.
These guys aren’t trying to capitolize on the old outlaw trend (they don’t even know it), they are trying to capitolize on the “new outlaw” trend, which isn’t even a trend. It is one guy, who isn’t even trying to capitolize on it himself. He just grew long hair and a beard. These guys don’t have the talent to keep up with him, and most can’t grow facial hair, so they are lost trying to keep up with him and say stupid shit like Church does….”I’m not trying to be outlaw, except I sell outlaw labeled shit on my site.”
Go make your money, leave the songwriting and true artistry to others. And stay out of the way.
Bless ‘Em, Blame ‘Em – May 2 | Country California
May 2, 2012 @ 11:05 pm
[…] behavior and denying that he has attempted to cultivate an outlaw image for himself even as he sells outlaw-branded merchandise in his online […]
May 3, 2012 @ 8:21 am
Springsteen is copying Keith Anderson’s Everytime I hear your Name, and it takes EC and 2 cowriters to achieve this. Then someone gives him a Grammy nod. Hey no opinion here just facts listen for yourself! All his hits have a difinitive song they have copied, usually in same key and tempo, huh, Brilliant, now that is my opinion.
May 14, 2012 @ 3:36 pm
Alright so what song does this copy?
This is from his first album “Sinners Like Me”. He also wrote this song by himself. Lightening is one of his best crafted songs and Keith Anderson??? For real? Nobody would copy his music, because it is just not good, in my opinion. I just had to post this, because those were some big accusations saying he needs a cowriter to write a hit/good song. He also wrote “Carolina” and “You Make It Look So Easy” by himself.
May 3, 2012 @ 8:38 am
I wonder if Waylon could have pulled off his “outlaw bit” in the information age. Surely his coked up ass would have put his foot in his mouth a time or two. Imagine what they might have tweeted from the tour bus. Maybe, in the old outlaw country days, the artists were less prone to the identity crises that we see these days.
May 3, 2012 @ 8:53 am
That’s why he never gave interviews in his heyday. He was rarely photographed. He went from the back of the bus to the stage, to back on the bus.
May 3, 2012 @ 11:37 pm
Waylon was wise beyond his rowdy ways. I’ve stated what I think about Eric Church but, speaking as a fellow asshole, I’m glad you leave him a way out of the mess.
May 7, 2012 @ 7:30 am
huh? Sure he didn’t give many interviews in the hey day, but who did from country music back in the 70’s?
There are a tons of photos of Waylon out there. And they aren’t all on stage. Plenty of him in a green room, or some backroom, oustide etc…. always with smoke of course, but I think, like anything from back then, those guys wouldn’t have become the legends/mythical figures they did had we had the media and political correctness we do today.
May 3, 2012 @ 8:57 am
Ah, the who is “outlaw” and who ain’t debate. What is the definition of the outlaw term as applied in this context? Do we even have one, or is it all subjective?
For me, an outlaw (and I’m as sick as everyone else with the term) is an artist who is not signed to a major label, doesn’t have suits telling them what songs to cut, and has a hand in writing their own material. In other words, they can make the music they want, and if people like it, great. If they don’t, move on down the road.
By that definition, Eric Church is not an outlaw, although he has potential. I like his music far better than the Aldeans and Gilberts. Who knows, even the original outlaws were once company men before they broke free. I’ll even give Church extra points for getting kicked off the Rascal Flatts tour.
Of course, if he ever does go “outlaw”, he will lose that mainstream support system. No more CMT, and he’ll get invited to award shows about as often as Jamey Johnson, Hank3, Shooter Jennings and Hellbound Glory. On the plus side, he wouldn’t have to put up with the likes of Blake Shelton anymore.
I dunno. He’s making money and getting famous. Maybe he likes where he is at. Maybe he wants to do something different and break the chains. Only time will tell, I think.
May 3, 2012 @ 9:27 am
May 7, 2012 @ 7:18 am
I have one comment/arguement with your definition of “outlaw”. The artist can’t be signed to a major label? Why is that? I would think to be “outlaw” or true “outlaw” to the music industry, fighting it from the inside out, I.E. being on a major label and break that systems rules is much more “outlaw” than being on some independent label that there is nothing to fight for, except bitching about not getting radio play.
I mean, isn’t an artist that is signed to a major label, yet not taking the direction from the suits and making their own music more of an outlaw than anyone else? I think your two other points are very important, but I think it is almost essential to be on a major label to be a true outlaw. That means you got their attention, you broke the system and shook things up.
May 7, 2012 @ 10:24 am
I understand your point, but I would think an artist under a major label would face an incredible amount of corporate interference. That constant fight would drain anyone of creative energy, and in the end, the suits will win as long as the artist is under contract; see Curb Records.
Going out on your own or an indie label, gives an artist the freedom to make the music they want without a suit shoving in songs or auto tune or whatever. How many of the artists we admire on this site are signed to major labels?
As an example, Jamey Johnson did a corporate album, which neither he nor anyone else was satisfied with, then went out on his own to record two stellar albums. I think working from the inside is nearly impossible these days. The contracts seem to give little wiggle room.
May 7, 2012 @ 10:40 am
Good points as well. I think we both see what everyone is up against and trying to fight.
I would agree Johnson did a major label album, but I don’t know that he was unsatisfied with it. “The Dollar” album isn’t exactly pop country. Or if you go back before that, “They Call Me Country” album, was way before the laundry list tunes and it wasn’t popped up either. (Although this album wasn’t really on Major Label)
Johnson wasn’t happy with the major labels promotion of things, which was next to nothing since he didn’t fit the song mold for radio play.
Let’s not forget, before the beard and long hair, Johnson had an image that could have been marketed for big time success had he “played the part” (pun intended for his song “playing the part” written about that experience) but he didn’t.
Another pun intended, they simply shelfed his songs. He re-emerged by putting “That Lonesome Song” album out. Yes, on his own, but it got backing from a major label.
Curb Records is the worst of the worst. But I don’t know that Tim McGraw isn’t cutting the music he wanted to there, it seems they had problems with how things were released.
Same with Hank3. What he cut for Curb and what was released (when it was cut) were two different things. Although “Straght to Hell” was cut/released w/ Curb and it is his best work.
One could argue your point of the pressures of major labels with Garth Brooks. That dude did what he wanted, flat out. Maybe it was to make a boat load of money, but he didn’t follow some corporate structure, he caused others to invent a coporate structure to try and duplicate his success. So there is a way to change/beat the system, you just have to be pretty special to do it.
I’m just glad these guys cut/release stuff period. I love listening to them. The business side of it, that is between the artist and industry. I go to shows, I buy albums Where my money ends up, well, life isn’t fair.
May 7, 2012 @ 10:58 am
“How did you find songs for your first album?
Curb was sort of new in town at the time. It was tough to get good songs played for me. So when it came down to recording, I didn”™t have any say-so in the songs.
May 7, 2012 @ 11:53 am
good article about the guy.
As expected, the label pulled the strings on the first album, but my point was that McGraw was doing a lot of song chosing the majority of his career. I think he would have made most of the same songs had he been anywhere else, but the release of the music would have been different.
I did like this quote in the artile:
“Still to this day, my favorite songs on my albums are not necessarily singles ”¦ I sort of cringe when I think that people judge my career according just to what they”™ve heard on the radio. To me, the body of work is so much better or deeper than the singles are. If I had to pick a song for someone to judge my career, it would be “Kill Myself” or “I Think Something”™s Broken” ”“ one of those kinds of songs.”
I think, for good and bad, mainstreamers like McGraw are solely judged on the radio singles. The two songs he mentioned are great, but never get heard.
May 3, 2012 @ 9:45 am
There’s a place for pop country and their stars (though not in my record collection, mind you). The vast majority of people don’t have a passion about the music they listen to…or are forced to listen to. They mindlessly accept whatever is pushed on them by corporate radio. For those people, pop country exists. It’s hot. It’s now. It sells. (It also sucks mostly, but the great unwashed masses don’t care).
For people to attain to be one of those stars for the masses is okay, as long as they own up to being what they are…pop country stars making big bucks for playing watered down music.
I really don’t have anything against certain country pop stars. They’re doing their thing and I ignore it. (I’ll bitch about the crappiness of their product when forced to listen to it, but I try hard to not be put in a position to have to endure it).
It’s the douches that try to be ‘outlaw’ but are still corporate shills that gripe me. And the corporations that see a buck by creating posers to pretend to be ‘outlaw’ gripes me even more. It’s so bad now that I don’t like the term ‘outlaw country’ anymore. I prefer ‘independent country’ or ‘underground country’, or better yet ‘real country’.
May 3, 2012 @ 10:42 am
Waylon, Bobby Bare and Willie were signed to major labels when the “outlaw” movement occurred…so that ain’t it.
And all three of those artists in particular have pretty distinctly different sounds and styles from each other..so that ain’t it.
It’s attitude–that, I’m gonna do what I want, when I want. They all made concessions to the great cash cow at one point or another though.
They needed something to make them stand out, and a hole to categorize themselves into, something promotable. Outlaw worked for them..and it helped gather more support for their music. And I, for one, am very pleased that it happened…I want people I appreciate to make $$$…and I also got the opportunity to hear more of their music because of it.
It does bother me that alot of music that I don’t really appreciate is being labeled by this same term(not calling anyone out in particular, lets be clear there)…but, it is what it is…its just smart marketing. Denying your involvement in your own marketing is a little strange..but, we don’t really know the ins and outs of his contract, so, who knows..and, based on his rise in stature..its obviously working for him.
May 3, 2012 @ 7:47 pm
Please let’s not put Jamey Johnson’s name in the same sentence as Justin Moore and Eric Church. Jamey has his own identity and hasn’t ever used any time of “outlaw” scheme to promote his image. Fake is easy to spot and I’m sorry, but thats what I see with Moore and Church. I think Marty Stuart said it best, “the most outlaw thing to do in Nashville is play country music.” Moore and Church music is not country, but yet a mix between rock and pop. Love him or hate him, Jamey Johnson’s music is country and he does things his own way, its not a manufactured image.
May 3, 2012 @ 10:53 pm
I agree. The only reason his name was in the sentence was because I was creating the context of how the “new Outlaw” term has been used, and that term has been used for Jamey Johnson by music writers and fans and such, whether it is fair or whether Jamey likes it himself. I think there’s tremendous difference between Jamey Johnson, Eric Church, Justin Moore, Josh Thompson, and Gretchen Wilson, all who’ve been called “new Outlaws”, and I’m not sure any of them are friends with each other.
October 15, 2012 @ 12:09 pm
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Jamey Johnson fan and just got back from one of his shows in West Virginia. However, you cannot say he has never referred to himself as “outlaw”:
“Hanging out in the bars with the drunks and the stars I found a few good ole boys just like me
Started burning our candles both ends and the middle a bunch of roaring outlaws at high speed”
May 4, 2012 @ 8:05 am
never heard of him
May 4, 2012 @ 8:15 am
Moses is on fire! I like it!
May 4, 2012 @ 8:52 am
This is how Nashvile works all they need to do is push the outlaw button on the studio assembly line. 😀
May 5, 2012 @ 8:31 pm
The ONLY artist in the last 30years that has EARNED the opportunity to be mentioned in the “outlaw” circle is Jamey Johnson, yet he has never called himself that or even cared if he was called it.
I would even go beyond and say Jamey may surpass some of the greats in the “outlaw” circle because he is doing it today, in an age where he is up against more money, media, etc… than they had to deal with in the 60-70’s.
He can write songs that are deep and quality and range from slow ballads to hard honky tonkers. He can crush covers from Hank Sr. to Waylon to Kristofferson to Hank Jr. to Vern Gosdin.
He pays homage to legendary songwriters, and he knows his country music history, present and future.
Eric Chruch is just another singer. Along with Justin Moore, and most others these days. Johnson will go down as one of the greats when things are said and done.
October 15, 2012 @ 12:10 pm
“Hanging out in the bars with the drunks and the stars I found a few good ole boys just like me.
Started burning our candles both ends and the middle, a bunch of roaring OUTLAWS at high speed”
May 6, 2012 @ 8:55 am
I still luke warm to Jamey Johnson. didn’t he write Honky Tonk badonkadonk.
May 7, 2012 @ 7:11 am
Merlefan, I urge you to go actually listen to Jamey Johnson. I’m certain you will find some songs that will offset your concerns about Bondonkadonk. With your concern over Bodonkadonk, I can tell you haven’t listened to Johnson outside of what you have read on SCM and maybe “In Color” played on the radio.
Start with some of these songs:
Keepin Up with the Jonesin’
The Last Cowboy
That Lonesome Song
Nothing Is Better Than You
The Guitar Song
That’s Why I Write Songs
Can’t Cash My Checks
Front Porch Swing Afternoon
…there are many more.
May 8, 2012 @ 10:33 am
I don’t listen to mainstream radio. I’m willing to give him a chance. I do have his one cd the one with mowing down the roses on it.
May 14, 2012 @ 4:22 pm
This guys a hack. a half deaf chimpanzee could tell the difference between some shit pop country artist and some real heartfelt outlaw country music.
April 8, 2013 @ 12:41 am
I don’t know if Church is “outlaw” or even Country but I like him. That being said I doubt I’m really someone to be considered a fan of country music. His album Chief is the only “country” album that I’ve actually went out and bought. The only thing that’s really irritated me is his appearance in that Aldean song.
I’m really more of a heavy metal guy. I got into a few country groups like WhiskeyDick really by listening to Down, Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, and Rebel Meets Rebel. Honestly I think if you’re looking for “outlaw” music today you’re going to have to look into southern metal acts and bands like Black Label Society. Just my thoughts.
August 10, 2013 @ 10:38 pm
I think all y’all need to take a step back and ask yourself “How does this affect me and the way I live my life?”. Anyone that’s not directly in contact with Eric or Brantley or Justin or Jamey, the answer is without a doubt gonna be “It doesn’t affect me at all.” Now do something productive and stop squabbling about what someone’s label is. It’s like a middle school in these comments.
March 17, 2014 @ 8:25 am
remember Waylon’s song don’t y’all think this outlaw bit has done got outa hand. The real outlaw are not in the limelight look up Hank iii and Lucky tubb there outlaws
August 14, 2014 @ 9:16 am
Waylon and Willie and the boys were dubbed “outlaws” not because of the lifestyles, but because they bucked the Nashville Corporate Monster when it came to their music. They made music which bucked the “Nashville Sound” then in vogue, and they did it to stay true to their music, taking a risk of missing fortune and fame by their insistence on doing it their way. Willie nelson had to fight to have “Red Headed Stranger” released, the Nashville PTB of the day wanted to shelf it.
These self-proclaimed (or those who are coy in allowing others to call them “outlaws”) “outlaws” are either in ignorance, or cynically and knowingly, misappropriating the term. If anything, they totally buy into selling their souls to Nashville as regards the music-the only important thing. They are far from bucking the current Nashville musical trends, as shown by the full backing of the Machine. Not one of them has gone against the grain in fighting for their own artistic vision (that’s giving them benefit of a big doubt that they even have one). Whether people wound up loving or hating that vision, they would at least have the respect earned for fighting for it.
August 14, 2014 @ 9:25 am
I believe the final proof of this is in their (and/or their fans) last line of defense of their path- “But look at how much they sell! Look at how popular they are!” The original outlaws also did find fortune and fame also. But only after years of doing their own music their own way, and risking the roll of the dice, when their big breaks came, by insisting upon continuing down their own path regarding their music. They took a gamble when it mattered, and their music was so good that they won the toss.
Maybe the current “outlaws” are afraid that if they bucked the machine as regards their music, it wouldn’t stand on its own merits? Or maybe they just don’t even have a musical vision of their own to present? Who knows?
October 31, 2014 @ 12:41 pm
I just had the absolute pleasure of seeing Eric Church two nites in a row last week.
I don’t care about the “Outlaw” term. Whether he is, whether he isn’t.
Whatever he is doing, he is doing it right.
He put himself in a position to put out the latest album, which is an awesome piece of music and both wacky and crazy.
He put himself in a position to be able to tour with this current tour.
I’ve been to a thousand concerts in my life. I’ve seen every type of music, in every type of establishment from holes in the walls to stadiums.
Eric Church blew the freaking roof off two nites in a row, with two substantially different set lists, for an extremely reasonable amount of money of which I got every pennies worth.
Can’t make everyone happy.
He is damn good though.
Not to mention the fact he had a 30 foot Demon come out and his band was throwing Slayer licks into some song!!! hahahaha
I went to see Eric Fucking Church!
Funny thing. I was playing darts the other nite.
This lady on the other team told me she was at the EC show.
She went with someone.
She didn’t really know the songs, but said that he came across as so real and appreciative of where he was, and just charismatic and she was now a fan.
October 31, 2014 @ 1:26 pm
Wow, I didn’t realize that 30-foot demons and Slayer licks were essential elements of a strong live country performance. Thanks for filling me in!
October 31, 2014 @ 2:11 pm
I understand where you are comin from but it all works for him. He is incorporating all kinds of elements. The show still was rooted in country and i believe he has intregrity when it comes to music and fans. As a live performer he is bad ass and deserves his success