The Outlaws' guitar army enters the new decade with great panache with this new album "Dixie Highway" containing eleven tracks, masterfully led by the two pioneers of the group, Henry Paul/guitars, vocals and Monte Yoho/drums , assisted on guitars by Steve Grisham, and, in replacement of Chris Anderson, by guitarist Dale Olivier of the famous Country-Rock Blackhawk group founded in 1992 by Henry Paul. Also from Blackhawk, bassist Randy Threet shows up, taking the same path as, before him, pianist/keyboardist Dave Robbins, current member of the Outlaws, with in addition a second drummer, Jaron Sorenson, in this new formation, then invited a returning : Billy Crain and his talkative guitar. What happiness have brought us the Outlaws since 2012 with the sparkling "It's About Pride" and the double live Legacy, in 2016, with colorful harmonies as well by the force of the guitars as the voices in polyphony! We are no exception to the rule on this "Dixie Highway" with the opening "Southern Rock Willl Never Die", which pays tribute to those who built "Southern Rock" and unfortunately left in the great firmament. Follows "Heavenly Blues", composition by Henry Paul published on the album "Hurry Sundown" of 1977, gem of Country-Rock with Californian atmosphere à la Eagles. Then comes what can now be called a standard: the album title "Dixie Highway" because already recorded in 2004 by Ron Keel's group, Iron Horse, in which Henry Paul participated, and also on the select "Brothers of the Southland "from 2008. On this new album, it is noticeably different but just as shimmering. It must be said loud and clear: the major attribute of the Outlaws, with its lyrical and punchy "Southern Rock/Country Rock" mixture, has all the qualities to surprise the most jaded, especially with songs like "Over Night From Athens" , "Endless Ride", "Dark Horse Run", good Boogie with the stirring "Rattlesnake Road", a tribute with a composition of Tommy Crain, Billy's brother, with "Lonesome Boy From Dixie" from the album "Full Moon" from the Charlie Daniels Band in 1980. To make it even better, they give us an instrumental anthology with "Showdown". A good find with "Windy City's Blue", superb composition "Southern blues" from 1972 with an Allman Bros drive, composed by Frank O'Keefe bassist founder of the Outlaws who died in 1995. The lesson ends in beauty with "Macon Memories", initiatory journey where the shadow of the Allman Bros, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Charlie Daniels Band, the Outlaws hovers, set to music with a Dickey Betts touch: some great Outlaws, true Proust madeleine. "Southern Rock" will never die.
Translation : Y. Philippot-Degand