The Outlaws – “Legacy Live” 2CD (Steamhammer / SPV)
Formed in Tampa back in 1967, The Outlaws were legends in the 70s, renowned for their formidable 3 pronged guitar attack – so much so that they were known as ‘The Florida Guitar Army’ by their fans! Touring with The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, Eagles and The Rolling Stones, founder guitarist / vocalist Hughie Thomasson and his good ‘ol boys laid the roots of what was to become Southern Rock or Southern Boogie. Ironically, by the 80s when bands like Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, .38 Special and Black Oak Arkansas started to move into hard rock circles, The Outlaws were labelled by many as ‘too country’ to do the same – what folly! Anyone who’s heard classics like ‘Hurry Sundown’ or ‘Devils Road’ would be blinded by the intensity of the guitar work, all the more appreciated for its no effects playing. And let’s not forget the immortal ‘Green Grass And High Tides Forever’ – if Skynyrd had ‘Freebird’ and Blackfoot had ‘Highway Song’, then these arguably pale in comparison to this 14 minute guitar foray! With material like this, The Outlaws could have been massive, taking Southern Rock well out of the Deep South to the globe. However, as with all band issues, in fighting, ill-fated reunions and bitter trademark battles left the band in tatters compounded by the deaths of co-founding members Frank O’Keefe and Billy Jones in 1995, and especially vocalist/lead guitarist Hughie Thomasson in 2007. However, members of the 1972 line up Henry Paul and Monte Yoho, built yet another line up of this classic band and record and tour to this very day. “Legacy Live” is the culmination of this 40 year legacy. With 21 songs that span a more recent country style as well as looking back towards authentic Southern Rock, it also includes classics like ‘Ghost Riders In The Sky’ and the aforementioned ‘Green Grass And High Tides Forever’, capturing all the glory that was, and still is The Outlaws.