Harvey Dalton Arnold will probably always be best remembered for his time with The Outlaws at the end of the Seventies, with whom he recorded three incredibly important albums (‘Hurry Sundown’, ‘Playin’ To Win’, ‘In The Eye of the Storm’) providing bass and vocals. These days Arnold is providing lead guitar and vocals, and on this album he was joined by bassist Zev Katz (Paul Simon, James Brown, Carole King, Eric Clapton, drummer Charley Drayton (The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Neil Young, Miles Davis), keyboard player Rob Arthur (Jimmy McGriff, Peter Frampton, Joan Osborne), and rhythm guitarist Zak Alister. The album was recorded in a small room with all the band playing and Arnold singing, so most of what is heard was actually recorded live.

The slide guitar, the Hammond B3 Organ, the lived-in vocals, this is blues-based rock which feels incredibly real and genuine. It is a group of musicians who have all been around for years, have played with greats and paid their dues long ago, and Arnold’s songs and vocals bring a style and feeling to life. He may not be an Outlaw anymore, yet this feels like the stories and songs of a man with a guitar strapped to his back riding around the west plying his wares. That the cover of the album is a black and white photo of a guitar out on a country track is incredibly fitting and captures the timbre of the music perfectly. The album has been released through the Music Maker Relief Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 1994 that supports the soul of America’s blues, gospel, and folk music through partnerships with senior, traditional artists. Its aim is to ensure cultural heritage is passed on to the next generation though live performances, exhibitions, documentation, and youth engagement. All power to them, and long may they continue to support music like this as any fan of blues-based rock will find this an album to savour.

Rating: 7/10


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