God bless Hughie Thomasson’s guitar solo on the Outlaws’ “Hurry Sundown”

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:

Mick Ronson, 1989
Tom Morello, 2011
J. Geils from the J. Geils Band, 2006
Sean Costello, 2006
Dave Murray of Iron Maiden, 2012
Joe Perry of Aerosmith, 1993
Derek Trucks of Tedeschi Trucks, 2012
Rudolf Schenker of Scorpions, 1992
Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, 2001
Doyle Bramhall II and Charlie Sexton of Arc Angels, 1992
Marc Bonilla, 1992
Robert Randolph of the Family Band, 2003
Billy Duffy of the Cult, 1989
Dave Martone, 2020
Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest, 2005
Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard, 1992
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
Don Wilson of the Ventures, 1997
Trevor Rabin of Yes, 1984
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
John Petrucci of Dream Theater, 2010
Eric Johnson, 2001
Ace Frehley from Kiss, 2008
Allan Holdsworth, 1983
Tony Iommi of Heaven and Hell, 2007
Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1990
Rick Richards of the Georgia Satellites, 1988
Steve Morse, 1991
Slash of Guns N’ Roses, 1994
Brian May from Queen, 1993
Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, 1991
Jake E. Lee of Badlands, 1992
Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1997
John Fogerty, 1997
Joe Perry of Aerosmith, 1987
Rick Derringer, 1999
Robin Trower, 1990
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, 1994
Mick Ronson, 1988
Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult, 1997
Michael Schenker, 1992
Guthrie Govan of the Aristocrats, 2015
Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe, 1985
Carlos Santana, 2011
Walter Trout, 2003
Mark Farner of Grand Funk, 1991
Jennifer Batten, 2002
Leo Kottke, 2002
Link Wray, 1997
Buddy Guy, 1991
Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1986
Lindsay Mitchell of Prism, 1988
Gaye Delorme, 1990
Dave Murray of Iron Maiden, 1984
Graham Bonnet of Alcatrazz, 1984
Rik Emmett of Triumph, 1985
Sonny Landreth, 2016
Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders, 2016
Jeff Beck, 2001
Albert King, 1990
Johnny Ramone of the Ramones, 1992
Peter Frampton, 1987
Otis Rush, 1997
Leslie West of Mountain, 2002
Steve Howe of Yes, 2017
Uli Jon Roth, 2016
Poison Ivy of the Cramps, 1990
Malcolm Young of AC/DC, 1983
Steve Clark of Def Leppard, 1988
Roy Buchanan, 1986
Gary Moore, 1984
Ronnie Montrose, 1994
Danny Gatton, 1993
Alex Lifeson of Rush, 1992
J.J. Cale, 1990
Yngwie Malmsteen, 2014
Allan Holdsworth, 1983
Kim Mitchell, 1984
Warren Haynes of Allman Brothers, 1994
Derek Trucks, 1998
Susan Tedeschi, 1998
Joe Satriani, 2018
B.B. King, 1984
Albert Collins, 1985
Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, 1984
Dick Dale, 2000
Dickey Betts, 2001

…with hundreds more to come


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