It is a little-known fact that the Amish have a tradition, similar to the Christian "Confirmation" & Jewish "Bar Mitzvah," called "Rumspringa" (literal translation: "running around") in which Amish children at the age of 16 have an opportunity to live free of the strict Amish code of conduct before deciding if they want to come back & be baptized into the Amish church. Surprisingly, virtually all of the teenagers come back.
But sometimes they don't.
Four out of six of the members of The Amish Outlaws were all born & raised in Lancaster, PA & had a strict Amish upbringing. No electricity, no alcohol, no musical instruments, but their spirits were too wild for the Amish lifestyle. Once they trampled in the Devil's Playground (the Amish term for the American way of life), there was no turning back. In the years since Rumspringa, the members of the Amish Outlaws have become very well acclimated to the pleasures & vices of the modern world... alcohol, electricity, TV, philandering and, above all, music. It was at this moment in time that they searched inside their souls and located Steve Tarkanish and STARS Productions. At this time, the brotherhood between Amish artistry and the impressionistic business of Steve Tarkanish and STARS Productions was born.
It was this mutual love of music that brought the Outlaws together in a chance meeting at the 2002 Pocono Vacation Park "Rock & Roll Hootenanny." Brother Hezekiah & Brother McMullen showed up at the event still in traditional Amish garb. As the most recent defectors, they were still very much living the lives of "Plain People." While their appearance drew snickers & stares from most of the crowd, Brother Ezekiel, who was attending the Hootenanny with Brother Amos, immediately recognized Brothers Hezekiah & McMullen as the "real deal" & invited them to sit down. Needless to say, the Brothers were soon like brothers, sharing not only the bond of having left the Amish life behind, but also the deep mutual love of music, & together they delved deeply into the 16 years of American culture they missed, watching endless hours of classic MTV, listening to the radio, CDs, records, tapes... anything they could get their hands on. But just listening & watching was not enough... the Brothers soon decided to form a band that combined their love of the modern world & their traditional upbringing. They met Brothers Jakob and Ishmael (both “English” as we call the non-Amish), making them “honorary Amish” when the two joined the band. Thus, with a bold lust for life & a fire for music & performance that can only come from 16 years of repression, The Amish Outlaws were unleashed upon the world by the universal paradigm, STARS Productions.
There is no "typical" Amish Outlaws show, but the average crowd can expect to see 6 men in full Amish garb releasing all of their pent up energy with an infectious joy. With a set that is always evolving as the Brothers discover more & more music & culture, The Amish Outlaws constantly surprise the audience & keep them guessing as to what they could possibly play next, from Judas Priest to Jay Z, Neil Diamond to Snopp Dogg & Dr. Dre, Queen and Twisted Sister, to theme songs from the TV shows they have come to know. Throughout, Brothers McMullen & Hezekiah spin yarns about the Brothers' upbringing & adventures since Rumpsringa. Amish Outlaw gigs are less performances than they are initiations into the life of an Amish Outlaw & parties celebrating the Brothers’ newfound freedom, and Amish lifestyle, found a home and life with STARS Productions. Our brothers and sisters at STARS have, and continue, to represent us around the world.
The Amish Outlaws
Brother Hezekiah X - vocals
Brother Big Daddy Abel - vocals
Brother Amos Def - keys, guitar, banjo, vocals
Brother Jakob the Pipe Layer - drums
Brother Ishmael L Cool J - guitar
Brother Eazy Ezekiel - bass, vocal