The Dixie Highway originally connected Chicago to Miami – the first vital thoroughfare between the Midwest and the South – before eventually being replaced in the late 1920s by the U.S. Highway system. And while fragments of the original road still exist in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Ohio, it remains a route that carries echoes of its past as well as being an enduring symbol of American discovery, fortitude and pride. And on their new album Dixie Highway, Southern Rock icons The Outlaws take fans on what is literally and figuratively the ride of a lifetime.
And the album’s first single, Southern Rock Will Never Die’, salutes fallen comrades that include Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, Tucker’s Toy and Tommy Caldwell, Duane and Greg Allman, and The CDB’s ‘Taz’ DiGregorio and Tommy ‘TC’ Crain, as well as Outlaws’ co-founders Billy Jones, Frank O’Keefe and Hughie Thomasson. “It echoes the spirit of these founders of this genre,” says Henry Paul. “The energy that motivated all of us back then is still inspiring us now.” The song can be listened to here: https://youtu.be/-siz6s2MM9s
For more than 45 years, the Outlaws have flown the Southern Rock banner like no other band in the land. Known for their unique triple-guitar rock attack and three-part country harmonies, the Tampa-born group’s first three albums on Arista – featuring hits like ‘There Goes Another Love Song’, ‘Green Grass & High Tides’, ‘Knoxville Girl’ and ‘Freeborn Man’ – became Southern Rock milestones, while relentless tours with peers like The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band and The Charlie Daniels Band – as well as performing alongside The Who, Eagles and The Rolling Stones – solidified the reputation of ‘The Florida Guitar Army’ as genre legends.
And since the release of their 2012 comeback album It’s About Pride and acclaimed 2016 double album Legacy Live, the Outlaws – led by Henry Paul and co-founder/drummer Monte Yoho along with Randy Threet (bass, vocals), Steve Grisham (guitars, vocals), Dave Robbins (keyboards, vocals), Dale Oliver (guitars, vocals), Jaran Sorenson (drums) and guest guitarist Billy Crain – have not only re-emerged as what fans call ‘Southern Rock’s Last Band Standing’, but as a dedicated band of brothers who still write, play and perform with the skill, grit and fire of acts a fraction of their age.
With the release of Dixie Highway, the Outlaws once again blaze a route that is as familiar to the faithful as it is unflinching in its mission. “I want the fans to see the band’s growth, to recognize the quality of the music,” says Henry Paul. “It’s focused on where we come from, where we’re headed and how much fun we’re still having on the ride.” And from the state-of-the-art production to its throwback double-album gatefold vinyl, Dixie Highway remains a route whose legacy has a sound and spirit all its own. “We wrote and recorded this album to reinforce the notion that the Outlaws still matter,” Henry Paul says, “and that Southern Rock will always matter. It’s a message we’re proud to bring into the 21st century.”