The Outlaws

Lady in Waiting

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It's not easy following up a creatively and commercially successful debut album, but Florida-based Southern rockers the Outlaws did just fine with their sophomore effort, 1976's Lady in Waiting, the follow-up to their 1975 self-titled, gold-selling release. Although Lady in Waiting doesn't have all-time knockouts like "There Goes Another Love Song" or "Green Grass & High Tides," it does include a handful of Outlaws classics, including the minor hit "Breaker-Breaker" and "Stick Around for Rock & Roll." Vocalists/guitarists Hughie Thomasson, Henry Paul, and Billy Jones; bass guitarist Frank O'Keefe (who was fired after this album); and drummer Monte Yoho collaborated once more with producer Paul A. Rothchild to create a textured album that managed to fuse intricate guitar arrangements and frame them within Thomasson's rock & roll, Paul's pure country, and Jones' intensely personal songwriting styles. And don't forget the splendid three-part vocal harmonies either. "Breaker-Breaker" is bright, easygoing country-rock; lyrically, it piggybacked on the mid-'70s CB radio craze. The tempo changes and distinctly different guitar tones on "South Carolina" add extra dimensions to what would otherwise be straightforward, up-tempo country. Jones' "Ain't So Bad" is mid-tempo pop/rock with ironic lyrics about life and death, especially since he committed suicide two decades later in 1995 around the time of O'Keefe's death. The tough country-rock, rockabilly-flavored number "Freeborn Man" was, unbelievably, co-written by Paul Revere and the Raiders vocalist Mark Lindsey and guitarist Keith Allison; the guitar solos provide the punch, but O'Keefe's walking bassline adds a nice, loping rhythm. Paul's country-inflected "Girl From Ohio" is rife with gorgeous harmonies. "Prisoner" is a sensitive Jones song with occasional jazz-pop tendencies. The hard-rocking "Stick Around for Rock & Roll" is a rowdy guitar jam. Lady in Waiting was reissued on CD by Buddha Records in 2001.

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