Southern rock unit the Outlaws were formed in Tampa, Florida, in 1972 by singers/guitarists Hughie Thomasson and Henry Paul, bassist Frank O’Keefe, and drummer Monte Yoho. With the 1973 addition of guitarist Billy Jones, the lineup was complete, and after a year of intense touring the band became the first act signed to Arista under Clive Davis; the Outlaws’ self-titled 1975 album spotlighted their Eagles-influenced harmonies and Allman Brothers-like guitar attack, yielding the Top 40 hit “There Goes Another Love Song.”
In the wake of 1977’s Bill Szymczyk-produced Hurry Sundown, both Paul and O’Keefe exited, with guitarist Freddie Salem, bassist Harvey Dalton Arnold, and second drummer David Dix signing on for the 1978 concert set Bring It Back Alive and the studio effort Playin’ to Win. The lineup shuffles continued when Arnold announced his departure following 1979’s In the Eye of the Storm, with bassist Rick Cua recruited for the next year’s Ghost Riders in the Sky, which netted a Top 40 entry with its title track, a rendition of the Vaughn Monroe favorite. Yoho left to rejoin Henry Paul soon after, and with the subsequent exit of Jones, only Thomasson remained from the original Outlaws roster — not surprisingly, the group disbanded upon completing 1982’s Los Hombres Malo.
A year later Thomasson and Paul formed a new Outlaws lineup, adding guitarist Chris Hicks, bassist Barry Borden, and drummer Jeff Howell; after issuing 1986’s Soldiers of Fortune, Paul again quit the band, with the remaining quartet returning in 1993 with Hittin’ the Road. While Paul resurfaced in 1994 in the chart-topping contemporary country band Blackhawk, Thomasson later toured with the re-formed Lynyrd Skynyrd while continuing to lead the Outlaws, releasing So Low in 2000.
Sadly, Jones and O’Keefe died within three weeks of one another in early 1995. In 2005, original members Thomasson, Paul, Yoho, and David Dix reunited as the Outlaws, rounding out the lineup with three members of Blackhawk, guitarist Chris Anderson, bassist Randy Threet, and keyboardist Dave Robbins. Paul and Robbins departed a year later to concentrate again on Blackhawk, while Thomasson, the only original member of the Outlaws to make it through all of the band’s configurations, kept things going, reportedly finishing a new studio album, Once an Outlaw, before his death from a heart attack in 2007. (by Jason Ankeny)
By the mid-’70s, Southern bands seemed be making a last stand for rock & roll, with two- and three-guitar lineups and not a keyboard in sight. The Outlaws’ self-titled debut was released in 1975, a few years after the Allman Brothers Band’s greatest glories and a couple of years before the untimely demise of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Outlaws latched onto their Southern heritage by way of Florida, threw in some harmony by way of the Eagles, and then wrote a number of songs that played to their strengths. The result was — and is — a good classic rock & roll album. Several of The Outlaws’ best songs are present here, including “There Goes Another Love Song,” “Green Grass and High Tides,” and “Song for You.” Hughie Thomasson only sings lead on these three songs, but since two of them were the best-known Outlaw songs, it is his voice that is most associated with the band. It’s fun to hear cuts like “Song for You” and “Knoxville Girl,” which never received a lot of radio play. “Keep Prayin’,” sung by Henry Paul and Billy Jones, is a fine piece of Southern boogie with high soaring harmony on the chorus. Although “Green Grass and High Tides” has been played a million and six times on album-oriented rock stations, it nonetheless deserves mention. Created in the tradition of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Dreams” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” the song still sounds fresh in the context of the album, and doesn’t feel long at its nearly ten-minute length. The Outlaws’ debut blew a fresh blast of rock & roll onto a scene increasingly dominated by synthesizers and dance music. It will leave the listener singing along and dreaming about the good ol’ days. (by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr. )
And the last song of this album, “Green Grass And High Tides” is another highlight in the history of Southern Rock !!!
Billy Jones (guitar, vocals)
Frank O’Keefe (bass)
Henry Paul (guitar, vocals)
Hughie Thomasson (guitar, vocals)
Monte Yoho (drums)
J.D. Souther (background vocals on 04.)
01. There Goes Another Love Song (Thomasson/Yoho) 3.03
02. Song For You (Jones/Thomasson) 3.30
03. Song In The Breeze (Paul) 3.03
04. It Follows From Your Heart (Jones) 5.19
05. Cry No More (Jones)4.17
06. Waterhole (Tomasson/Jones/Yoho/O’Keefe/Paul) 2.03
07. Stay With Me (Paul) 3.28
08. Keep Prayin’ (O’Keefe) 2.42
09. Knoxville Girl (Paul) 3.29
10. Green Grass And High Tides (Thomasson) 9.46