Exclusive Listen: New Audible Series Stars Mandy Moore Retelling the Outlaw Origins of Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and More

Long before they were household names, country outlaws Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson were hanging at The Boar’s Nest, the home of Sue Brewer, the late journalist and concert promoter who helped shape the Nashville music scene from the mid-1960s through ’70s. Brewer;s communal haven, which helped birth new songs and collaborations, along with the outlaw movement, is documented in the upcoming Audible Original series The Boar’s Nest: Sue Brewer and the Birth of Outlaw Country Music, which premieres March 14.

Starring Mandy Moore as Brewer, the scripted series centers around The Boar’s Nest, Brewer’s humble living room floor, which played as an after-hours clubhouse for artists where they could “escape the Nashville establishment, but a creative sanctuary,” according to a show descriptor.

Brewer, who died in 1981 at age 48 from cancer, helped struggling artists and transformed her apartment at 911 18th Avenue South in Nashville into their creative hub and escape. Lovingly dubbed The Boar’s Nest, the communal space welcomed everyone from Kristofferson, Jennings, and Nelson, as well as Dallas Frazier, Roger Miller, Harlan Howard, Jack Clement, and more, who gathered, swapped songs—and even wrote some together.

In 1972, Vince Matthews and Shel Silverstein co-wrote “On Susan’s Floor” in honor of Brewer. The song was first recorded by Gordon Lightfoot, then later covered by Hank Williams Jr., Dickey Lee, and Mac Wiseman during the 1970s.

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The Boar’s Nest also helped birth the Outlaw Country movement, with Nelson, Jennings, and Kristofferson finding common ground at Brewer’s “Nest.”

“The beauty of telling this story in audio is that listeners will find themselves completely immersed in the heart of the Nashville music scene at such an exciting time in its history,” said Moore in a statement. “Sue Brewer’s pioneering legacy is one that is often overlooked despite her resounding impact on Outlaw country and some of its most celebrated artists. I’m honored to pay homage to her and the music revolution she helped ignite from her living room.”

Told from the perspective of Brewer, the series also features newly-performed covers of “On Susan’s Floor”; Nelson’s “Hello Walls” and “Family Bible”; Jennings’ “Nashville Bum”; Kristofferson’s “For the Good Times” and “Sunday Morning Coming Down”; the gospel standard “I’ll Fly Away”; and the Everly Brothers‘ “Wake Up Little Susie.”

Produced by Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman’s Jagged Films, Bill Gerber (A Star is Born), and Nashville-based Oso Studios ((Dub Cornett) in collaboration with Fresh Produce Media and Audible, The Boar’s Nest: Sue Brewer and the Birth of Outlaw Country Music also stars Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The BearGirls) as Silverstein, Earl Brown (Deadwood) as Jennings, Stephen Louis Grush (Night Sky) as Nelson, and John Hoogenakker (Dopesick) as Kristofferson.

The cast is rounded out by TJ Osborne of Brothers Osborne, who plays Johnny Cash, Brad Leland (Friday Night Lights) as Faron Young, Liz Sharpe (Tenants) as Frances Beer, Moore Maury Morgan (This Is Us) as music executive Frances Preston, and Quincy Dunn-Baker (The Righteous Gemstones) as Chet Atkins.

“I am delighted ‘The Boar’s Nest’ is completed and will be launched on Audible with Mandy Moore playing Sue Brewer,” said Jagger. “Set amongst now-legendary country artists in Nashville, Sue created a haven for the emerging talent of that time,” said Mick Jagger. “My dear friend Steve Bing brought the idea to us, and sadly left us before completion.”

Toward the end of her life, Brewer answered fan mail for Jennings, who also gave her son a free home to live when her health started to deteriorate. Jennings also established the Sue Brewer Fund in 1984, which provides music scholarships to students at the universities of Belmont and Vanderbilt.

In 1985, Brewer was honored with an all-star TV special, The Door Is Always Open and was later inducted as an honorary member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1990.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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