Website [Release date 26.03.21]
The Outlaw Orchestra, who love southern rock, blues and country, via their hometown of Southampton, follow up last year’s enjoyable ‘Pantomime Villains’ with this mini-album.
As singer/guitarist Dave Roux explains “When we’re not on the road, we miss the stage and hanging with our outlaw buddies. When the bottles run empty, our country roots come out, usually in the small hours, so we’ve taken a handful of our favourite songs and played them as we would in a backroom, after folks have gone home, the chairs are up, lights are down and there are no wires or amps“.
So what do we get on here? Eight tracks, although only six songs as the opening and closing tracks set the scene, in that the band are meant to be playing a live electric set for radio when there is a power cut, hence they go acoustic.
Two of the songs appeared on the ‘Pantomime Villains’ album, namely ‘Chicken Fried Snake’ and ‘Send Some Whiskey Home’. Both sound great in acoustic form, where the pedal steel and banjo take centre stage on the music side of things.
Despite the band being tongue-in-cheek with their lyrics, they are consummate musicians which you can really appreciate on these acoustically driven songs.
‘Rattlesnake Sour’ is a proper blues foot stomper, complete with slide. This one will sound great live. ‘Back To Georgia’ is a fine piece of banjo led blues/southern rock – something say Blackfoot would have done in their prime.
‘God Knows’ first appeared a couple of years ago and gets a laid back revamp on here. L.A. based Trish Burke Manser provides additional vocals. It was planned that she would have featured in the video, however it wasn’t possible, hence Dave Roux steps in for her – in a dress and make-up!
It is very difficult for bands at the moment as they can’t road test new songs or indeed play songs from anything released last year. That makes it all the more satisfying to see bands like the Outlaw Orchestra try some of their existing songs in stripped back form and add in a few new songs too. This will keep their existing fans happy until live shows recommence and hopefully pull in a few new ones. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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