Stories to Live Up To (2020)

It's always good to hear from old Southern Rock glories. From 1976 to 1980, Harvey Dalton Arnold enjoyed success as a bass player in the fabulous Outlaws. He played with them in huge stadiums and rubbed shoulders with many rock stars. And then he left the adventure in 1980. According to his own statements, southern rock was losing momentum. This musical style no longer made young people dream and no longer interested record companies. The band had gone from limousines to vans and large hotels to Holliday Inns. Drugs had become the musicians' main companion and their wives were fed up with their absence. Harvey therefore abandoned his career in the Outlaws to be closer to his family but he always continued to play in local formations while working in regular jobs. He also devoted himself to the study of the guitar. Nor was he spared life because he had to fight throat and tongue cancer. But a real miracle has taken place. Not only did he come out victorious in this medical fight but he also recovered his voice. Since then, he participates in a cancer patient assistance program. He tours in the hospitals where he regularly gives small private concerts to the delight of patients. A few years ago, he released a first solo album called "Outlaw" and devoted solely to old-fashioned acoustic blues. Alone with his acoustic guitar, playing fingerpicking or picking, Harvey demonstrated his mastery of six-strings. He even made a nod to his musical past with an excellent bluesy version of "Cold and Lonesome", a title he composed for the Outlaws on the album "Hurry Sundown".

Today, he comes back to us with a second disc where he is accompanied by a rhythm section (bass, drums, keyboards). This new production does not lack good songs like the funky and swinging "Stay here with me", "Early bird" (which swings well with a good southern slide) or "Poor boy" (cool and effective with a delicate six-string ). The heady guitar riff of "When the sun goes down" stretches over a medium and hypnotic tempo approaching "swamp blues". "Lone outlaw" is a very good southern song. We can feel the southern influences in the chord progression and the guitar with hints of Dickey Betts. This is my favorite song from the album. Go find out why!

We stamp our feet on the rock "Gotta see you" and "Put me back" has a beefy slide riff. The disc ends with "Catfish blues" which takes us into the marshes for a hallucinating "swamp blues-rock". Harvey sprinkles all these pieces of relevant six-string interventions and his voice is still as pleasant even if it has gained depth. Harvey Dalton Arnold survived the golden age of Southern rock, the learning the guitar and the illness to give us this great achievement. So let yourself be tempted! You would be crazy to refuse such a gift! "Southern rock survivors forever!"

Olivier Aubry


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