The Outlaws, a Tampa, Florida quintet, hit their peak in Southern Rock music in 1975 with their self-titled debut album and kept on delivering hits until the release of their quintessential album, Bring It Back Alive in 1978. With their dual-guitar harmonies and wild riding rhythm section, the band was a few steps away from becoming a household name. However, the departure of Henry Paul to a solo career barely affected the band as Freddie Salem stepped in, pushing the band further up the charts.
By 1983, the Outlaws had grown dusty and their live set was leaning toward a greatest-hit jukebox. After a well-needed break, they returned with the over-produced Soldiers Of Fortune (’86). After another eight-year hiatus, the Outlaws released a more rootsy album, Diablo Canyon (’94), with only the original singer/guitarist Hughie Thomasson left to guide the band.
Hughie Thomasson later joined Lynyrd Skynyrd for a six-month contract which lasted for nine years and resulted in six records and two DVDs. Thomasson eventually left Lynyrd Skynyrd to write and sing his own songs. This year will mark 14 years since the Outlaws have released new material. However, some old friends have returned, including drummers David Dix and Monte Yoho, guitarist Chris Anderson, and bassist Randy Threet. The band was able to record their new album, Once An Outlaw…Always An Outlaw, in their hometown of Tampa.
The Outlaws pride themselves on being true to their fans, and the key ingredient to their sound has always been their live show. The band has been playing new songs live for a while and has worked out all the bugs. They are now recording with several contributing outside writers, producing 13 new tracks that range from Southern rock to country and back to rock. They might even throw in a few old standards with the new lineup.
The Outlaws' new album is about bringing the band back to the fans and giving them the best of what they do. They are still a guitar-driven band, and Thomasson claims they are smokin' right now, playing better than ever. They have recently played in front of several thousand screaming Outlaws fans and are shopping their new record to labels.
The Outlaws may have gone through many changes and challenges, but they are still the same band that started out as a rag-tag bunch. The band's history includes classic albums like Lady In Waiting (’76) and Hurry Sundown (’77), which are equally represented in the live set.
The Outlaws are back, and their new album promises to deliver the same guitar-driven sound that fans have come to love.