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THE OUTLAWS Reissues 2on1 SPV Yellow (2009)

The Outlaws

Another two Outlaws albums get a re-issue by SPV and both are worth getting for any self-respecting southern rock fan. It always amazes me how this band were never as big as bands like .38 Special, Blackfoot and Lynyrd Skynyrd as they had the tunes and live they gained rave reviews.

1977's Hurry Sundown sees the band add more of their love of harmony filled country rock from bands like the Eagles and Poco with Hughie Thomasson adding pedal steel and banjo to his top notch guitar playing. But fear not if you hanker after southern rock as 'Gunsmoke' shows the band firing on all six. 'Hearin' My Heart Talkin' and 'Holiday' are good examples of country rock whilst 'Man Of The Hour' allows Thomasson and fellow guitarists Billy Jones and Henry Paul a chance to flex their strings. ***½

By 1980's Ghost Riders (after a couple of lacklustre studio albums and one live album) only Hughie Thomasson and Billy Jones remained from the 'Hurry Sundown' line-up, although new drummer David Dix had been in early line-ups of the band. This album saw the band turn to a more AOR/melodic rock sound not a million miles away from .38 Special (in fact listen to 'Angels Hide' and you'd swear it was .38 Special!). The title track is the band's cracking reworking of an old cowboy song complete with a very tasty intro. The band also covers 'I Can't Stop Loving You', a superb heart wrenching ballad that features a great vocal and guitar playing. This is one of the band's finest albums. ****

Another CD worthy of adding to your collection if you like southern/country rock with a few AOR touches.

Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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