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The Outlaws: Lady In Waiting (Arista AL 4070)

Ken Barnes, Phonograph Record, April 1976

LADY IN Waiting improves on the Outlaws' fine debut set in many ways. The vocals are airtight, the equal of any L.A. country-rock outfit going. The songwriting's better, too — the glaring lapses on the first album aren't to be found. There's more versatility — both of Billy Jones's songs, for instance, are far removed from the straightforward country-rock style the Outlaws were (unfairly) tagged with. 'Prisoner' floats along in a sort of effete jazz vein; while 'Ain't So Bad', overcoming initial Dave Mason similarities, is a strong contemplative rocker, aided by attractive guitar textures and solid harmonies removed from their usual country-rock context. The Raiders cover, 'Freeborn Man', is tighter on record, and the country-to-jazz shift is more dramatic.

Total word count of piece: 350

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