By Steve Newton
I really, really enjoy guitar solos sometimes.
When a geetar player hits just the right notes with just the right feel, it’s almost like a religious experience for me.
That’s why I’ve asked God to bless exquisite guitar solos by Scott Gorham on Thin Lizzy’s “Romeo and the Lonely Girl”, Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser on Blue Öyster Cult’s “Burnin’ For You”, Snowy White on Peter Green’s “Slabo Day”, and Steve Cropper on Rod Stewart’s “Stone Cold Sober”.
And now it’s time to request that the lord sanctify Hughie Thomasson’s guitar solo on the Outlaws’ “Hurry Sundown”.
The Outlaws, aka the Florida Guitar Army, were an amazing southern-rock band back in the ’70s. They’re best known for “Green Grass and High Tides”, their guitar-drenched 1975 response to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” opus from two years before.
But my favourite Outlaws tune–as I recently announced in a controversial 20 Best Of list–is the title track of their 1977 Hurry Sundown LP.
It actually features several guitar solos by both Thomasson and fellow lead player Billy Jones, but it’s the one by Thomasson that takes place at the 1:36 mark that really sends a shiver up my spine.
I mean, the tasty Les Paul solo that Jones soars into at the 1:20 mark is special in and of itself, but when Thomasson takes it over on his Strat 16 seconds later, that frenzied barrage of notes that he kicks things off with, coupled with those killers bends and supercool slides down the neck–it all adds up to the ultimate 17-second solo for me.
To the consternation of many, I’ve previously declared that Mick Ronson‘s lead break on Ian Hunter’s “Once Bitten Twice Shy” was the greatest guitar solo of all time. I also posited that Jim McCarty‘s 35-second wipeout on Bob Seger’s “Get Out of Denver” was a close second.
I’m not sure if Thomasson’s inspired six-string blast on “Hurry Sundown” is the third-greatest guitar solo of all time, but I’m not sure that it isn’t, either.
What do you think?
If you like to hear guitar players talk as well as play awesome solos subscribe to my Patreon page, where you can eavesdrop on over 275 of my uncut, one-on-one conversations with such primo pickers as:
Dave Martone, 2020
Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest, 2005
Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown, 1998
Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, 2003
David Lindley, 2002
Marty Friedman of Megadeth, 1991
Nancy Wilson of Heart, 2006
Jeff Golub, 1989
Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars, 2001
Steve Hackett from Genesis, 1993
Buddy Guy, 1993
Albert Lee, 1986
Yngwie Malmsteen, 1985
Robert Cray, 1996
Jeff Healey, 1988
Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, 1993
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, 1995
Elliot Easton from the Cars, 1996
Wayne Kramer from the MC5, 2004
Roy Buchanan, 1988
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash, 2003
Davy Knowles of Back Door Slam, 2007
Steve Stevens of Atomic Playboys, 1989
Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule, 1998
Robben Ford, 1993
Jason Isbell, 2007
Joe Satriani, 1990
John Sykes of Blue Murder, 1989
Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, 1998
Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1999
Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, 1992
Little Steven, 1987
Stevie Salas, 1990
J.J. Cale, 2009
Joe Bonamassa, 2011
…with hundreds more to come