This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Their primary similarity to other Southern rock bands is the dual lead guitar interplay, a defining characteristic of many Southern rock bands.
Their use of three and four part harmonies set them apart from their contemporaries who usually relied on a single lead vocalist.
Hughie Thomasson 's signature guitar playing style and voice were defining characteristics of the band's sound. Thomasson's guitar sound was underpinned by the use of the Fender Stratocaster and sometimes a Telecaster played in a quasi- country style mixed with fluid, quick blues runs. Hughie was nicknamed "The Flame" for his flaming fast guitar work. He is a member of the Fender Hall of Fame.
The other lead guitarist, Billy Jones, played mainly a Gibson Les Paul and switched between a clean and distorted sound. A good example of this can be heard on "Green Grass and High Tides" on the right stereo channel. Hughie Thomasson's distinctive Stratocaster sound can be heard on the left channel. Thomasson opens the first solo at the intro and plays the first half of the two succeeding longer solos all on the right channel.
There are many video examples of his Green Grass solos on the internet. The records released by the band between and are considered the best representation of the band's style. The band was seen on successful concert tours billed with other non-Southern rock acts of the time including opening for the Who on the 'Who Boots In' tour in This contrast of styles was more common at that time than the packaged "genre" tours seen so often these days.
The willingness of promoters to mix styles led to the Outlaws gaining a large following in the United States. The Outlaws' style is highly characterized in their first three albums, The Outlaws , Lady in Waiting , and Hurry Sundown These are considered the best work of the band with all of the "classic era" band members, except for O'Keefe who was replaced by the left-handed bass player Harvey Dalton Arnold see below for a complete roster of Outlaws members.
Henry Paul left after their third album in , and eventually formed the Henry Paul Band, which would release four albums from With the band beginning to falter, Jones left in Paul returned in The albums released after are largely viewed by critics as a gradual move away from the original sound that gained them success in the s. The reworking of the Western-styled "Ghost Riders" in was the band's last taste of big league success, although the band released two more records, Los Hombres Malo in and Soldiers of Fortune in As the s came to a close, Thomasson became the final original member of the act.
Albums such as Diablo Canyon , released in , were released on smaller independent record labels. The band by now was mostly confined to smaller club dates. This situation led to Thomasson accepting a guitar position in the legendary and more popular Lynyrd Skynyrd in This essentially sidelined the Outlaws for a decade, as Thomasson's voice and guitar style were just too integral a part of the Outlaws' sound for the other members to successfully work without it.
In , the Diablo Canyon-lineup released the album So Low, to mixed response from fans. Many cited it as being more of a solo output from Thomasson. After this release, the band again vanished from the musical environment.
Henry Paul went on to form the country band BlackHawk , which had some chart success in the s.
The latter three had been with Paul's country group BlackHawk. The members from the band's heyday, guitarist Billy Jones and bassist Frank O'Keefe, had died in , O'Keefe of a drug overdose and Jones suicide shortly after. Paul and Robbins left to resume their careers in BlackHawk in early , but the remaining band soldiered on. They were part of the Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam tour in the summer of A cover version of their trademark epic minute track "Green Grass and High Tides" is featured as the finale in the set list for guitar and bass in the video game Rock Band and features two complicated solos.
In December , Outlaws tour dates were released. Cartwright left the band shortly thereafter. This would be the first lineup in Outlaws' history without Hughie Thomasson on guitar and vocals, as from the band's formation to his death, he was the only constant member, garnering him the nicknames "Mr. Outlaw" and "The Lone Outlaw". According to the band's web site, the Outlaws announced their intention to continue to tour throughout the summer and fall of with this lineup and planned to participate in the Simple Man Cruise with Lynyrd Skynyrd in January It was also stated on the website that the band would change its name to 'Henry Paul Band' due to Thomasson's death, but to continue touring with the same setlists.
The all-day concert featured a unique jam fest for all the bands. On July 30, , it was announced on the band's website that "their first new album in 12 years" will be released on September 25, , titled It's About Pride. Led by Henry Paul, the album was critically acclaimed. A few years before the album, Paul recruited an old friend from the Henry Paul Band, lead guitarist Billy Crain to join the band.
Paul and Crain collaborated on writing many of the songs for It's About Pride. In , Billy Crain left the band and Steve Grisham, who performed on the album Soldiers of Fortune, rejoined as guitarist.
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