The expansive new Outlaws & Armadillos: Country's Roaring '70s exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will launch this May with the help of an all-star concert organized by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings. Among the performers: Jason Isbell, Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare and Jamey Johnson.
Set to open May 25th, the exhibit will chronicle the relationship between Nashville and Austin, Texas, during the height of the Outlaw Country era, when Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson (and the boys) took on the Music City establishment. Cobb, the Grammy-winning producer for artists like Isbell and Chris Stapleton, and Jennings, the son of outlaws Jennings and Jessi Colter, will act as musical directors for the concert that takes place on the exhibit's opening day.
Joining Isbell, Johnson, and Bare – a Country Hall of Fame member – will be a mix of contemporary artists, including Jason Boland, Jack Ingram, Ashley Monroe, Amanda Shires, and Colter Wall. There will also be additional appearances from country legends Colter, Joe Ely, Michael Martin Murphey, Gary P. Nunn, Willis Alan Ramsey, Kimmie Rhodes (who will be joined by Delbert McClinton), and Shaver. Several of the artists are featured in the exhibit. Nunn and Shaver each had a hand in two seminal albums from 1973, Jerry Jeff Walker's ¡Viva Terlingua! and Waylon Jennings' Honky Tonk Heroes, which helped kick-start the Outlaw movement.
Outlaws & Armadillos is curated by museum staffers Peter Cooper and Michael Gray with Austin filmmaker Eric Geadelmann, and will be open for the next three years. The exhibit will also have an accompanying soundtrack, due to be released digitally and as a two-CD set on May 18th, with a vinyl version to be released later in the summer. Tickets for the concert go on-sale April 6th.