Billy Jones - vocals, guitar; Henry Paul - vocals, guitar; Frank O'Keefe - bass; Hugh Thompson - vocals, guitar; Monte Yoho - drums
Recorded as part of the "Live at the Record Plant" series, this 1976 performance finds The Outlaws in excellent form. Promoting the upcoming release of their second album, Lady In Waiting, the band enthusiastically delivers their brand of tight, energetic guitar-driven Southern rock.
The Outlaws were signed to Clive Davis' new label, Arista Records, and when their blend of driving guitars, cowboy twang, and Eagles-esque harmonies came together, the public bought in. The group had a Top 40 hit right out of the box with "There Goes Another Loves Song," from their 1975 self-titled debut album, The Outlaws.
But the ten minute plus opus "Green Grass And High Tides," was, and remains today, the band's signature song. With its beginning slow tempo, followed by a frantic, fast moving ending climaxing with pulsating triple lead guitar solos, the tune echoes Skynyrd in many ways yet is uniquely the Outlaws, with it's thrilling vocal harmonies in the chorus. These two songs quickly become the band's standard closers and this show, although very early in its career, got the same response back then than it does now.
The rest of the set is peppered with strong tunes from both of their first two albums. "Song In The Breeze" gets a solid rendition, and their version of the Jimmy Martin bluegrass classic "Freeborn Man" is outstanding.
After this recording was made at the legendary Record Plant, the band went through its first of many personnel changes. Henry Paul left in 1977, only to return again in the late 1980s when the band had a reunion. He departed again and formed Blackhawk, which has spent several weeks at the top of the country music charts.
The music here encompasses a certain animal compulsion, especially when the band locks into their long instrumental breaks. The Outlaws remained so true to their southern rock roots that they rarely moved in other directions. When Southern Rock veered out of the mainstream in the mid-'80s, many artists made a natural transition to country. The Outlaws, however, remained an American rock 'n' roll band. With an enthusiastic Record Plant audience encouraging them, the Outlaws turned in a strong performance on this classic recording. We hope you enjoy it as much as they did.
Sadly, founding member Hughie Thomasson died in his home in mid-September, 2007.