Kimberly Junod

Outlaw country is kind of tricky to define. It's a subgenre that really picked up steam back in the 1970s when artists like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson wanted to go in a different direction from the polished mainstream country world.

Today we're sharing an incredible story that Mikel Jollett, the lead singer of The Airborne Toxic Event, has chronicled both in the written word and in song. Jollett had a pretty dramatic childhood: He was born into a cult called Synanon and had to go on the run with biological mother.

If you've watched any livestreamed shows or concerts during self-isolation or done any video chatting at all, you know that there can be challenges: when someone's stuck on mute, or there's a bad connection, or there are awkward pauses, or if people talk over each other.

Growing up, my parents would make the drive from Chicago to my grandmother's house in Waukon, Iowa (population: just over 3,000) for visit. While in town, I distinctly remember the only sounds we'd hear in that tiny house: The only radio station played all classic country, all day long.

Think back to who you were a decade ago. What was that person like? What do you do differently now? And would you ever want to be that version of yourself again?

In this session, we're joined by Soccer Mommy – that's the performing name of artist Sophie Allison. Despite her youthfulness, when you talk to Allison, it's immediately clear that she's an artist who is in control. Allison has a keen understanding of how music works – not just the technical intricacies, but how it all fits together, too. And above all else, she's unafraid to share her very personal vision.

Aubrie Sellers has always been surrounded by music. She grew up in Nashville, the daughter of two famed country artists: Lee Ann Womack and Jason Sellers. But Sellers isn't looking to cash in on that pedigree or rest on family reputation. Instead she's forging her own way by finding her voice.

Nathaniel Rateliff has a really big heart and when you're in a room with him, you can feel it right away. He came to be known for his gruff, tattooed, bearded look and his foot-stomping, hand-clapping, sing-along songs with his band the Night Sweats.

All this week, World Cafe has been taking you on a tour of the Charlottesville, Va., music scene with our Sense Of Place series. Next month we'll continue our musical tour of Virginia with Sense Of Place: Richmond.

All this week we're joining you on the road from Charlottesville, Va., for our Sense Of Place series, where we bring you a deep dive into one community's music scene. And today, it doesn't get more Charlottesville than the Hackensaw Boys, who have been performing together for nearly 20 years.

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