CLEARWATER — The Outlaws will deliver the seventh annual Green Grass & Yuletide Jam on Friday, Dec. 10 and again on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Both performances get underway at 7:30 p.m.
Special guest Pure Prairie League will open the show. Tickets start at $39.50. Visit www.rutheckerdhall.com or call 727-791-7400.
For more than 40 years, the Outlaws celebrated triumphs, endured tragedies and survived legal nightmares to remain one of the most influential and best-loved bands of the southern rock genre.
Formed in Tampa in 1972, the Outlaws — known for their triple-guitar rock attack and three-part country harmonies — became one of the first acts signed by Clive Davis, at the urging of Ronnie Van Zant, to his then-fledgling Arista Records. The band’s first three albums were “The Outlaws,” “Lady in Waiting” and “Hurry Sundown.” They featured such rock radio favorites as “There Goes Another Love Song,” “Green Grass and High Tides,” “Knoxville Girl” and “Freeborn Man.” Those songs would become worldwide gold and platinum landmarks of the southern rock era.
Known as "the Florida Guitar Army" by their fans, the Outlaws earned a formidable reputation as an incendiary live act touring with friends the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Marshall Tucker Band and the Charlie Daniels Band as well as with the Doobie Brothers, The Who, the Eagles and the Rolling Stones.
From their beginnings in mid-60s Ohio as a group of friends playing cover tunes to the present-day unit, Pure Prairie League continues to embellish the rich 47-year history of one of country-rock’s pioneering forces. The band reached mainstream success by the mid-1970s with hit songs like “Amie,” “Falling In and Out of Love” and “Let Me Love You Tonight.”
The current PPL lineup features Michael Reilly on vocals and bass; founding member John David Call on pedal steel guitar; Donnie Lee Clark on vocals and guitars; Scott Thompson on vocals, drums, and percussion; and Randy Harper on vocals, guitar, and keyboards. Together they have 10 studio albums to draw from and a treasure chest of popular tunes.
Their eponymous first album — featuring the Norman Rockwell/Saturday Evening Post cover that introduced fans to PPL’s trademark cowpoke “Sad Luke” — has been hailed as a major early influence in the popularity of country rock music. Their second effort, the multi-platinum “Bustin’ Out,” brought the Craig Fuller-penned classic “Amie,” along with other gems of the genre.
With “Two Lane Highway,” nine more albums and countless shows, a legacy has been forged and enriched during the ’70s and ’80s, highlighting contributions from several noteworthy members, including co-founder George Powell, Cincinnati’s legendary Goshorn Brothers, Country Hall of Famers Gary Burr and Vince Gill, award-winning writer Jeff Wilson and a host of other guest appearances from Chet Atkins, EmmyLou Harris, David Sanborn, Don Felder, Nicolette Larson, and many more.
Now in their fifth decade, Pure Prairie League continues to lead the way for the new generation of country rockers such as Keith Urban, Nickel Creek, Wilco and so many others that cite PPL as a major influence.