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The Women of Outlaw Country

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Playlist: The Women of Outlaw Country

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The country outlaw movement—a return, in sound, to honky-tonk, rockabilly and blues—sprung up as a backlash against the silky-smooth Countrypolitanstyle pervading Nashville in the 1970s. And while only a few female artists (Jessi Colter, Sammi Smith, Emmylou Harris) are associated with that era, there have always been women embodying the outlaw spirit: a fea...

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The Women of Outlaw Country

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Title Artist Album Duration
I'm Looking for Blue Eyes
Waylon Jennings Wanted! The Outlaws 00:02:18

Jessi Colter, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 1976 Sony Music Entertainment

Owen Bradley, Producer - Loretta Lynn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Don McHan, ComposerLyricist - T.D. Bayless, ComposerLyricist

An MCA Nashville Release; ℗ 1975 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Hurtin' (On the Bottle)
Margo Price Midwest Farmer's Daughter 00:04:12

Alex Munoz, Producer - Margo Price, MainArtist - Matt Ross-Spang, Producer - Peach Pit (SESAC)/Fisheye (SESAC)/The Fredson Files (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2016 Third Man Records, LLC (P) 2016 Third Man Records, LLC

It All Comes Out in the Wash
Miranda Lambert Wildcard 00:03:34

Miranda Lambert, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Liz Rose, Composer, Lyricist - Jay Joyce, Producer - Hillary Lindsey, Composer, Lyricist - Lori McKenna, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2019 Vanner Records, LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Delta Dawn (Single Version)
Tanya Tucker Tanya Tucker / Super Hits 00:02:55

A. Harvey, Composer - A. Harvey, Lyricist - Margie Hunt, Executive Producer - L. Collins, Composer - L. Collins, Lyricist - Tanya Tucker, Vocal - Tanya Tucker, Performer - Billy Sherrill, Producer

(P) 1972 Sony Music Entertainment

Redneck Woman (Album Version)
Gretchen Wilson Here For The Party 00:03:41

Kenny Greenberg, Electric Guitar - Tom Bukovac, Electric Guitar - Greg Morrow, Percussion - Greg Morrow, Drums - Big Kenny, Background Vocal - Gretchen Wilson, Background Vocal - Gretchen Wilson, Composer - Gretchen Wilson, Lyricist - Gretchen Wilson, Performer - John Rich, Composer - John Rich, Co-Producer - John Rich, Lyricist - John Rich, Background Vocal - John Rich, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Trez, Background Vocal - Mike Brignardello, Acoustic Bass - Reese Wynans, Piano - Wes Hightower, Background Vocal - Russ Pahl, Steel Guitar - Russ Pahl, Banjo - Lowell Reynolds, Mixing Engineer - Larry Franklin, Mandolin - Larry Franklin, Fiddle - Paul Hart, 2nd Engineer - Paul Hart, Mixing Engineer - Greg Droman, Recording Engineer - Angela Primm, Background Vocal - Gale West, Background Vocal - Hank Williams, Mastering Engineer - Todd Gunnerson, 2nd Engineer - Joe Scaife, Producer - Joe Scaife, Background Vocal - John Willis, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Steve Nathan, Piano - Ronnie Thomas, Edited By - Eric Darken, Percussion - Bart Pursley, Mixing Engineer - Mark Wright, Producer

(P) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment

Hell on Heels
Pistol Annies Hell On Heels 00:03:14

Angaleena Presley, Composer - Angaleena Presley, Lyricist - Angaleena Presley, Percussion - Ashley Monroe, Composer - Ashley Monroe, Lyricist - Ashley Monroe, Percussion - Frank Liddell, Co-Producer - Fred Eltringham, Drums - Glenn Worf, Bass - Joshua Grange, Guitar - Mike Wrucke, Co-Producer - Miranda Lambert, Composer - Miranda Lambert, Lyricist - Miranda Lambert, Percussion - Pistol Annies, Performer - Stuart Mathis, Guitar

(P) 2011 Sony Music Entertainment

Highway Queen
Nikki Lane Highway Queen 00:03:51

Nikki Lane, Composer, MainArtist - New West Records, LLC, MusicPublisher

2017 New West Records, LLC 2017 New West Records, LLC

Trinity Lane
Lilly Hiatt Trinity Lane 00:03:53

Lilly Hiatt, Composer, MainArtist - New West Records, LLC, MusicPublisher

2017 New West Records, LLC 2017 New West Records, LLC

Baby Outlaw
Elle King Shake The Spirit 00:03:19

Greg Kurstin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Keyboards, Recording Engineer, Bass - Mark "Spike" Stent, Mixing Engineer - Michael Freeman, Assistant Engineer - Swang Lin, Violin, Concert Master - Elle King, Composer, Lyricist, Steel Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Matt Pence, Recording Engineer - alex pasco, Engineer, Recording Engineer - Julian Burg, Engineer - Ordabek Duissen, Violin - Buffi Jacobs, Cello, Performance Arranger - Steven Li, Violin - Arthur Busby, Violin - Florence Wang, Violin - Amy Faires Lin, Violin - Catherine Price Allain, Violin - Anne Bonnett, Violin - Shawna Hamilton, Cello - Paul Unger, Bass

(P) 2018 RCA Records, a division on Sony Music Entertainment

Redesigning Women
The Highwomen The Highwomen 00:02:54

Brandi Carlile, Vocals, Background Vocals - Rodney Clawson, Writer - Natalie Hemby, Vocals, Writer, Background Vocals - Tim Hanseroth, Acoustic Guitar - Phil Hanseroth, Bass - Daniel Bacigalupi, Masterer - Pete Lyman, Masterer - Dave Cobb, Producer, Acoustic Guitar - Peter Levin, Keyboards - Brandon Bell, Engineer - Jason Isbell, Electric Guitar - Maren Morris, Vocals, Background Vocals - Chris Powell, Drums, Percussion - Amanda Shires, Vocals, Background Vocals - Toby Hulbert, Assistant Engineer - Gena Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Colin Lott, Assistant Engineer - The Highwomen, MainArtist

© 2019 Highwomen LLC under exclusive license to Elektra Records ℗ 2019 Highwomen LLC under exclusive license to Elektra Records

You've Got Other Girls for That
Lillie Mae Other Girls 00:04:03

Dave Cobb, Producer - Lillie Mae, MainArtist

(C) 2019 Third Man Records (P) 2019 Third Man Records

Fulton County Jane Doe
Brandi Carlile By the Way, I Forgive You 00:04:43

Brandi Carlile, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Tim Hanseroth, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass - Phil Hanseroth, Banjo, Vocals, Writer - Pete Lyman, Masterer - Dave Cobb, Producer, Guitar, Mixing Engineer - John Mark Painter, French Horn - Shooter Jennings, Producer, Organ, Piano - Chris Powell, Drums, Percussion - Eddie Spear, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Gena Johnson, Second Engineer

2018 Brandi Carlile Band, LLC under exclusive license to Elektra Records for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States. A Warner Music Group Company 2017 Brandi Carlile Band, LLC under exclusive license to Elektra Records for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States. A Warner Music Group Company

Jeannie C. Riley, MainArtist

(C) 2013 Charly Acquisitions Limited (P) 1968 Plantation

Ode To Billie Joe
Bobbie Gentry Ode To Billie Joe 00:04:15

Jimmie Haskell, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Kelly Gordon, Producer - Joe Polito, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bobbie Gentry, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

(C) 1967 Capitol Records Nashville This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 1967 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2007 Capitol Records Nashville

Whatever This Is
Jessie G Jessie G 00:03:17

Gretchen Wilson, Producer - Jessie G, MainArtist

(C) 2019 Redneck Records (P) 2019 Redneck Records

Wastin' Time with You (Album Version)
Carlene Carter Little Love Letters 00:03:41

Carlene Carter, Writer, Performed by, MainArtist - Howie Epstein, Producer - Benmont M. Tench III, Writer - Howard Norman Epstein, Writer

© 1993 Giant Records ℗ 1993 Giant Records

Let's Have A Party
Wanda Jackson Wanda Jackson 00:02:11

Ken Nelson, Producer - Jessie Mae Robinson, ComposerLyricist - Wanda Jackson, MainArtist

(C) 2002 Nashville Catalog A Capitol Nashville Records release; ℗ 1958 Capitol Records, LLC

Can't Let Go (Album Version)
Lucinda Williams Car Wheels On A Gravel Road 00:03:28

Rick Rubin, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Johnny Lee Schell, Guitar, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Weeks, ComposerLyricist - JIM SCOTT, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Lucinda Williams, Producer, Co-Producer, Dobro, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Twangtrust, Producer - Donald Lindley, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Bo Ramsey, Guitar, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Roy Bitten, Producer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gurf Mortix, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - John Clambotti, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

A Mercury Records Release; ℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Guys Do It All the Time
Mindy McCready Ten Thousand Angels 00:03:11

Jimmy Nichols, Background Vocal - David Malloy, Producer - Bobby Whiteside, Composer - Bobby Whiteside, Lyricist - Kim Tribble, Composer - Kim Tribble, Lyricist - Mindy McCready, Performer - Norro Wilson, Producer - Kathy Burdick, Background Vocal

(P) 1996 Sony Music Entertainment

The Captain
Kasey Chambers The Captain 00:04:32

Kasey Chambers, Composer, Vocals, MainArtist - Nash Chambers, Producer, Engineer - Jeff McCormack, Engineer

1999 EMI Music Australia. Under license to Asylum Records. 1999 EMI Music Australia. Under license to Asylum Records.

Weed and Whiskey
Raelyn Nelson Band Weed and Whiskey 00:02:49

Raelyn Nelson Band, MainArtist - Jonathan Bright, Producer

(C) 2019 Mig Bachine Records (P) 2019 Mig Bachine Records

Eric Peterson, Writer - Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, MainArtist - Sarah Shook, Writer - Aaron Oliva, Writer - Kevin McClain, Writer - Adam Kurtz, Writer

© 2018 Sarah Shook & the Disarmers ℗ 2018 Audiotree Music

Help Me Make It Through The Night
Sammi Smith The Best Of Sammi Smith 00:02:35

Kris Kristofferson, ComposerLyricist - Sammi Smith, MainArtist

℗ 1996 Varese Sarabande Records

Jambalaya (Remastered Album Version)
Emmylou Harris Elite Hotel (Expanded & Remastered) 00:03:09

Hank DeVito, Pedal Steel Guitar - Emory Gordy, Bass Guitar - Hank Williams, Writer - James Burton, Electric Guitar - Herb Pederson, Banjo - Brian Ahern, Acoustic Guitar - Glen Hardin, Piano - EMMYLOU HARRIS, Vocals, MainArtist - John Ware, Drums - Micky Raphael, Harmonica

© 2004 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1975 Warner Records Inc.

Blowin' Smoke (Album Version)
Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different Park 00:03:08

Luke Laird, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Matt Stanfield, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jimmie Lee Sloas, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Leslie Richter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ilya Toshinsky, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Mendelson, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike "Frog" Griffith, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Russ Pahl, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Dave Levita, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Gore, Mix Engineer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Charlie Brocco, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fred Eltringham, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Shane McAnally, Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - LeAnn "Goddess" Bennett, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Hannah Schroeder, Cello, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Mercury Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
Kitty Wells 20th Century Masters: The Best of Kitty Wells - The Millennium Collection 00:02:31

Paul Cohen, Producer - Kitty Wells, MainArtist - Joseph D. Miller, ComposerLyricist

An MCA Nashville Release; ℗ 1952 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Kelsey Waldon Anyhow 00:02:58

Kelsey Waldon, MainArtist

(C) 2019 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2019 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

The River
Audra Mae Haunt 00:04:04

Audra Mae, Writer, MainArtist

2010 SideOneDummy Records 2009 SideOneDummy Records

Brandy Clark 12 Stories 00:03:15

Shane McAnally, Composer, Lyricist - Matt Jenkins, Composer, Lyricist - Dave Brainard, Producer - Brandy Clark, Composer, Lyricist, Lead Vocals, MainArtist

© 2014 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 2014 Warner Records Inc.

About Playlist

The country outlaw movement—a return, in sound, to honky-tonk, rockabilly and blues—sprung up as a backlash against the silky-smooth Countrypolitanstyle pervading Nashville in the 1970s. And while only a few female artists (Jessi Colter, Sammi Smith, Emmylou Harris) are associated with that era, there have always been women embodying the outlaw spirit: a fearlessness to flaunt controversial opinions and break with the mainstream. Think Loretta Lynn singing about birth control in "The Pill" and Wanda Jackson's rallying cry "Let's Have a Party." It's Tanya Tucker's bad-ass spirit and Bobbie Gentry creating her own dark-as-coal sound. More recently, it's Miranda Lambert, Margo Price and Kacey Musgraves—and a slew of underground artists, like Lilly Hiatt and Kelsey Weldon, who vow to do their own thing.

Margo Price Photo © Third Man Records

The Women of ’90s Alt-Rock in 10 Albums

by Shelly Ridenour

When male-dominated grunge kicked ’80s hair metal to the curb in the early 1990s, it also opened a door for women to finally play a different role in the music industry. Whether it was Riot Grrrls forcing third-wave feminism to the front; Fiona Apple letting it be known that teenagers have more to talk about than being rubbed like a genie in a bottle; or Liz Phair — posturing as “6-feet-1 instead of 5-feet-2” — standing tall in a scene of pretentious guys, the women of ’90s alt-rock claimed alpha dominance. Sex talk wasn’t just not taboo, it also wasn’t veiled in the lyrics of PJ Harvey and Phair. (Kim Deal’s “Divine Hammer” is another story, whether you think it’s about finding a greater purpose or a greater lover, or those are one and the same.) Helium’s Mary Timony ventured into those most dude-centric of genres, prog and medieval fantasy. And Courtney Love reclaimed the bad-girl imagery of witch and shrew — not to mention “victim” — with a vengeance. Here are 10 ’90s alt-rock albums by women that left an indelible impression.

Helium – The Dirt of Luck (1995)

Lasting just five years, from 1992 to 1997, Helium — and, more specifically, singer/guitarist Mary Timony — nevertheless left a huge impact on artists from Sleater-Kinney to Death Cab for Cutie. On paper, the formula isn’t an obvious one: low-slung, almost monotone vocals singing about pirates, doves and mythological monsters over D-tuned guitar. But Timony spins some kind of sorcery on the band’s first full-length album. “Pat’s Trick” and “Medusa” are heavy drags through medieval mud, while “Superball” bounces and jousts over a beat of Ren Faire drums. “She’s sweeter than honeycomb…she’s slower than Valium,” Timony deadpans on the shoe-gazer “Honeycomb” — a ballad that should’ve made Mazzy Star jealous. The Dirt of Luck is a weird record, to say the least, but an irresistible precursor to Timony’s solo work and future bands Wild Flag and Ex Hex.

Fiona Apple – Tidal (1996)

When Tidal was released, much was made of one fact: Fiona Apple was just 18. And while that may have seemed novel at the time, to think about it now is astonishing — how did a girl write those words and sing them the way she did? “I wander the halls along the walls,” she moans on “Sullen Girl.” “And under my breath, I say to myself, ‘I need fuel to take flight.” Apple’s debut was the right record at the right time for a generation approaching adulthood scared and already scarred by society. Produced by Jon Brion — who expertly added in lush layers of vibraphone, harp and marimba —Tidal could have been a lost classic from Nina Simone; this is not the sweet longing of Carole King. “I could swallow the seas to wash down all this pride,” Apple sings over the trip-hop beats of “Sleep to Dream” — just one of the classics here, along with “Shadowboxer” and “Criminal.” (Apple has said she tossed off the latter in 45 minutes after her label said she needed a more obvious hit). When Apple accepted her Moon Man at the VMAs the next year by saying, "You shouldn't model your life on what we think is cool, and what we're wearing and what we're saying and everything,” the world reacted as if she were an ingrate. Little did they know, she was trailblazing a path. No one would even blink if Billie Eilish said that today.

Beth Orton – Trailer Park (1996)

To hear Beth Orton tell it, the singer reluctantly fell into music. She was trying to figure out if she wanted to be an actress when she met producer William Orbit (Madonna, U2) at a party. The two became a couple and he encouraged her singing, but Orton resisted being a part of his starry world — and of having the reputation of the girl who only has a career because of who she’s dating. Still, she did guest on his SuperPinkyMandy as well as work by The Chemical Brothers. But once Orton and Orbit broke up, she was motivated to put together her own band. There was a greater purpose, too: Orton has said making her debut record saved her life after the death of her mother. Trailer Park is a gentle creature, with moments, such as “Don’t Need a Reason” and “Sugar Boy,” that breathe fresh life into Sandy Denny-style folk. A cover of The Ronettes’ “I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine” strips away Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound histrionics to reveal a bittersweet lullaby. It feels symbolic that Orton also strips away Orbit’s heavy-handed production on “She Cries Your Name” — first recorded for his Strange Cargo — and lets her light shine through.

Sleater Kinney - Dig Me Out (1997)

While bands like Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy and Bikini Kill built the foundation of Riot Grrrl — flying the flag of third-wave feminism and claiming a more powerful place for all kinds of women in music — it was Sleater Kinney’s third album that established the Pacific Northwest scene as more than just a cult movement. Credit goes to a few factors. One, founders Carrie Brownstein (formerly of Excuse 17) and Corin Tucker (formerly of Heavens to Betsy) added the heat and polish of classic rock to their already mighty garage-punk sound. Two, it’s the first SK album with Quasi drummer Janet Weiss; her muscular work pushed the band’s energy right up to the edge and established a solid ground beneath Tucker’s wildly frenetic vocals. As a result, songs like “Turn It On” and the title track are masterpieces of dynamics, both sonic and emotional, that fly high and swoop close to the ground with equal force. The band’s first album for Kill Rock Stars, Dig Me Out was recorded in Seattle at John and Stu’s Place (the same building where Nirvana’s Bleach was laid down) and its cover art is a tribute to The KinksThe Kink Kontroversy. But its energy and heart are the alchemy of three young women sending out a beacon.

Cat Power – Moon Pix (1998)

Chan Marshall has said her fourth album came about in a most unusual way: While alone in the South Carolina countryside, she had a vivid nightmare that she has described as “dark spirits” smashing the windows. Rattled, she grabbed her guitar — “I thought that if people found my body, I needed to leave a tape,” she told the Daily Telegraph — and songs poured out of her, including “Say” and “Metal Heart.” It had previously been a fallow time for the singer-songwriter, who has said she’d even contemplated retirement. Instead, she went to Melbourne to record Moon Pix with guitarist Mick Turner and drummer Jim White of Dirty Three. It’s since been hailed as her best early work, featuring “American Flag,” “Colors and the Kids” (with some of Marshall’s most moving piano work) and “Cross Bones Style” — which Marshall has said is about children she met in Africa who slept in trees after their parents’ deaths. "it feels like I’m alive today because of being able to write those songs,” she told the Guardian. “Moon Pix was my salvation as a very mixed-up young person.

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