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Outlaw X - Out of the Box

Outlaw X Music

11 tracks

This is an interesting album. Outlaw X is a rocking soul-filled funky blues band. Big productions, lots of sound with the guitar and keyboard/piano/organ amped up and ready to go. Larry Kimmel fronts the band vocally and plays bass. Herman Matthews is the drummer, Bill Steinway is on the keyboard instruments, and Ricky “Z” Zahariades is on guitar. The boys hail from Chicago, Houston, Milwaukee, and Fontana, California respectively. They lay down a heavy groove and make for a large sound.

“No Love” has a wicked guitar solo with a driving funky sound. “I’ll Be the One to Last” and “I Cry” are 70’s soul funk styled tune that made me hearken back to big collared colorful shirts and bell bottomed pants. “Old Fashioned Girl” and “Two of a Kind” gets into the Southern/country rock a bit with the traditional guitar sound and beat while “I’m Your Friend” is a country ballad with some Southern fried soul applied to it. They close with a cover of “Stay With Me”

I wanted to like this album a lot, but the one little problem I had with it was with Kimmel’s vocals. They are not bad, but he strains and stretches it out a bit. He tries to get too breathy and emotional at times and it doesn’t sell well. I’d prefer it if he just let it all loose and not hold back. The band is otherwise pretty tight and focused; the vocals just kept it from pushing it over the top. It’s a solid effort with some talented guys who I am sure we will hear from again!

Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL.

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