The Outlaw Orchestra deliver there self-style ‘Heavy Grass’ full of foot-stomping attitude. Out of Southampton the trio combined irreverence and rock-and-roll energy. Harnessing the power of Johnny Cash fuelled by whiskey and a banjo powered up by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons amp. The trio are not a band driven by magic trickery but rooted in the playing of driving slide guitar, banjo and lap steel. They may be outlaw’s but they know how to harness the power of six-strings built over the percussive stomping energy of a complete orchestration of sound. No wonder they are were in demand in the days of live music pre March 2020 and ‘you-know-what!’ plunged stages into an eerie silence. The power of music had been cut.
Did this silence the trio with a lot of music coursing through their veins? No it did not – a new Acoustic Album Powercut released to the world today 26th March 2021.
On the release of the single, Rattlesnake Sour, including the first two tracks, we wrote: “Vocal intro expecting full-on electric sound then – the music starts raucous with energising Acoustic. The slide is drive by the whiskey bottle, powered by Rattlesnake sour. The video assails your senses: see the visual narrative, your tongue teased by the virtual taste of whiskey, smell the heat and sea from the wider world, touch the magic, and hear the music raw and it gets those feet tapping with impatient anticipation as we wait for the mini-album”
Now we lead into God Knows, a country fuzz acoustic hoedown, the addition of Trish Burke Manser’s vocal adds to the conversation as the listener eavesdrops on lyrics that explore how hard they tried. The tempo picks up as we are dropped into the menu offered to a Rhinestone Cowboy on Chicken Friend Snake. The slide curls around the instrumentals and the words and delivery is mischievous toe-tapping fun. Listen and smile.
Got It Made, acoustic number overflowing with energy, rhythms and percussive resonance as the songs has an easy flow, almost but never quite a country ballad. The chorus of Jack of All Trades, Master of None. A love ditty demonstrating The Outlaw Orchestra’s mastery of their instruments. Now we head Back To Georgia, a guitar heavy, foot-stomping country blues number.
The final track before the snippet of an Outro, the sound is fuller as the band once again is joined by Trish on Send Some Whiskey home. Leaving on a high as you continue to argue with yourself who do they remind you off? The answers on a postcard or be comfortable with their own branding of Heavy Grass delivered with the daring that only an Outlaw Orchestra could deliver.
Closing out with a radio announcement bookending the opening as the mini album closes neatly.
The music ebbs and flows in intensity, the constant is the joyous playing and a party feel. You want to be outside surrounded by friends in the sunshine with a cold drink in your hand. Until that day I suggest you fine a warm spot in the garden, on the balcony, slouched on the couch wherever you choose once comfy turn Orchestra up loud and be a solitary outlaw with a beer in hand.
Bluesdoodles rating: 4 Doodle Paws – No electric go Acoustic to get your fix of heavy Grass – turn those speakers up and stomp your feet
1. 982.5 Rattlesnake
2. Rattlesnake Sour
3. God Knows
4. Chicken Fried Snake
5. Got It Made
6. Back To Georgia
7. Send Some Whiskey Home
8. Tomorrow’s Weather
The Outlaw Orchestra are:
Additional Vocals by Trish Burke Manser