If you love guitar driven music be it Southern Rock, blues, or something in between then the Weinberg Center for the Arts was the place to be on Friday night. The up and coming Kenny Young Band opened the show with a half hour set. They were followed by the award winning blues guitarist Tommy Castro and his band the Pain Killers. Legendary Southern rockers The Outlaws closed out the night with a blistering set that lasted over two hours.
The Kenny Young Band, from the shores of Southern New Jersey showed they were ready for bigger stages. The band has a dual lead guitar attack consisting of Joel Saunders and Dante DeFeo. Drummer James Kelly, and bassist Mike Contino make up the rhythm section. Kenny Young adds his talents on vocals and acoustic guitar. The band also had two enthusiastic ladies adding back up vocals for the band. Unfortunately the band did encounter a couple of sound problems. However, they still had the crowd warmed up and ready for more music.
Tommy Castro and his band The Pain Killers followed with a fantastic set. Fans have come to expect great performances by Castro who won the prestigious B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award in 2009 and 2010. He used his short set to introduce new songs, his own classics such as “Make it Back to Memphis” and “Callin’ San Francisco.” He walked into the audience during his rendition of “Serves me right to Suffer.” If that wasn’t enough he brought a special guest onto the stage for his final two songs. The guest was Deanna Bogart who showed her award winning saxophone skills on “Bad Habits.” Then she shared her piano and vocal skills to close out the set.
The Outlaws know what they are and what they are not. They know the Weinberg wasn’t filled but The Outlaws were here to rock for their fans that made it to the show. They know there new album isn’t going to be spinning out hits but the band was proud of it. They knew their new songs weren’t as good as the old songs. By the end of their two hour shows both the audience and the band left knowing they all had a great time. The band showed off ear splitting guitar attacks of Southern rock furry, beautiful displays of harmonized vocals, while country, blues, classic rock influences could be heard.
They opened the set with a new song “Tomorrow’s Another Night” from their new album It’s About Pride. This song really showcased the harmony vocals. Next they played their classics “There Goes another Love Song” and “Hurry Sundown.” The band played another new song “Hidin’ Out in Tennessee” before blasting into the classic “Freeborn Man.” “Born to be Bad” from the new album followed before “Grey Ghost” had the crowd rocking.
The concert flowed between old songs and new ones most of the night. The new song “Nothing Main about Main Street” came next and was followed by 1977’s “Gunsmoke.” Next came “Last Ghost Town” from the album. The Outlaws showed off some of their country licks on the classics “Water Hole” and “Knoxville Girl.” Then the band closed out the new songs with two of their strongest ones. The first was the title track followed by “Trail of Tears.”
Original member Henry Paul showed he still had his voice and played rhythm guitar all night. Co-founding drummer Monte Yoho kept the beat. Billy Crain and Chris Anderson did their best to create a “Florida Guitar Army” of their own. They turned their amps up to 11 and let it rip. Randy Threet on bass and keyboardist Dave Robbins rounded out the bands sound.
The Outlaws closed their set with their biggest hit “Green Grass and High Tides.” They returned to the stage for an encore performance of “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” The music might have stopped at 11:30 pm, but The Outlaws were in no rush to leave. They stayed after the show to greet fans and sign autographs. They did everything they could to ensure their fans left happy.