Henry Paul Band - Outlaws - Blackhawk
Interview by Luc Brunot.
Original version of the interview published in Bands Of Dixie #108 (2016 first trimester)
The announcement of the Henry Paul Band's original players reunion for two shows with the current Outlaws band joined by some of his "historical" band members has caused a huge excitement in the Bands Of Dixie editorial team. Just imagine: the Outlaws, probably the most exciting of the still active legendary bands, offered one of the most exciting family reunion with his putative brother: the Henry Paul Band! Band Of Dixie had the duty to question the figures (Henry Paul here and Billy Crain
) involved in what is almost one of the great events of the "Outlaws Family" history!
The Outlaws and the Henry Paul Band shared the same stage at the Capital Theater in Clearwater (December 18th) and at the Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida (December 19th). Did it attract a good audience?
Clearwater was sold out and Orlando was very close to sold out.
Who had the idea of bringing together the Outlaws and the Henry Paul Band on the same bill?
That was my idea.
Judging by the photos, were present Randy Three, Dave Robbins, Chris Anderson, Henry Paul, Monte Yoho, Steve Grisham from the current Outlaws band and Jim Fish, David Dix, Billy Crain and Wally Dentz. Was the Henry Paul Band for this weekend composed by these last musicians as well as yourself and Monte Yoho? Maybe Dave Robbins on keyboards?
The Henry Paul Band was Billy Crain, Jim Fish, Wally Dentz, Bill Hoffman, Myself, and Dave Robbins filling in for Barry Rapp. The Outlaws were and are the current lineup. Dave Dix sat in on percussion for the HPB and sat in on drums with the Outlaws.
photographer unknown. Photography provided by Billy Crain
Was David Dix part of the Henry Paul Band for a period in the 80s?
No, Monte Yoho was.
Barry Rapp and Tom Capek were not there in December. Did you invite them?
Barry was invited but had other plans. Tom Capek was not invited.
Why didn't you invite Tom Capek?
I wanted to stay with the original band members Since Barry was not available I chose to go with someone already in our immediate musical circle. Tom played very briefly with us in the last configuration of the group and lives in Boulder Colorado with a very busy work agenda.
David Fiester died in 2005. What memories do you keep of him?
I have so many going back to his teenage years in Cocoa Beach to all the great performances and good times we had together in the band.
On Facebook, there is a picture with Jim Fish, Billy Crain and you from early December. The legend says this is the first rehearsal together for the three since 1980, but the Henry Paul Band adventure continued until 1983. Between 1983 and 2015, Did the Henry Paul Band reunite together some time?
Jim left the band after the first album and that rehearsal was the first time we played together since 1980. We had not played together as a band since 1983.
What was the set list for these December evenings?
We played the entire first album.
Were the shows recorded and planned to be released?
No, they weren't. There was a stern mix of the band recorded and a single camera documentation of the event but that was it.
There are a lot of good tapes from the Henry Paul Band shows in the 80's. Is it planned to release some of them one day?
There is a live album in the vault at Atlantic Records. I'd like to see that released.
Are you planning other Henry Paul Band shows and, why not, a new life for the band?
We'd like to do mare shows and maybe record but it's very hard to get everyone together because of logistical issues.
Photography by Rob Yoho
Why did you leave the Outlaws to set the Henry Paul Band up while the first two band albums are musically not very far from the Outlaws stuff released at the same time?
The Henry Paul Band's first record is light years apart from the Outlaws after I left. We went our separate was based on musical differences and the Henry Paul Band's first album is unique unto itself and has stood the musical test of time.
Have you ever been frustrated to be only rhythm guitarist and never be a soloist in a band where the guitar solos are essentials?
No, I'm a singer, a songwriter, a front man, and an architect of the bands I've been in. I'm quite satisfied with that. The same I'm sure could be said by John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley and a host of others.
The "Christmas Southern Rock" anthology, that was released recently, opens with an excellent song by the Outlaws, "What Child Is This?" Is it a song that was ordered to you especially for the event?
No, it was an idea Dave Robbins came up with and the band arranged.
"It's About Pride" was in 2012. Is a new Outlaws album planned?
A new double live album is in the works. Perhaps another new studio record somewhere in the future.
I am sometimes asked if I have news of the release of "Once An Outlaw", the last album recorded by Hughie Thomason... Do you have any information on the subject?
With "Brothers of the Southland" Blackhawk released in 2014 his first album in 12 years. Was it marking a new start for Blackhawk?
Not really, just another studio release.
The Outlaws line-up seems quite stable in the recent years but Billy Crain had to leave due to his health problems and was replaced by Steve Grisham. What does that change in the band?
They're two entirely two different musical personalities. Stability in the band is my concern and for now we enjoy that.