Hundreds drum up support for percussionist on the mend

Bob Randall performs during Saturday's benefit concert for local drummer Steve Mitchell.

Bob Randall has embraced his role as an “outlaw” country musician, following in the footsteps of the genre’s founders, such as Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard.

So it is no surprise his newest album, to be released this weekend at a special party at the Old Forge Brewing Company, is titled “Outlaw.”

“Outlaw country is not a particular style of music, its not about lyrics or the beat, although it does have its own unique style. The artist vary from many different types of country music,” Randall said. “Many started out as traditional country music artists, but when the music industry decided to control what artists were recording and playing, a bunch of them went out to Texas and even Bakersfield, California. Guys like Johnny Cash flipped the bird to Nashville. 

“It was a rebellion to the industry trying to force their way on the music industry. It started a whole new breed of country music artist and it developed it’s own style that has continued.”

The release party kicks off at 8 p.m. with Bob Randall sharing a variety of songs from the album and a few special guests sharing their own pieces. Merchandise will be on hand, including copies of “Outlaw” and special packages including T-shirts with a copy of the album. Old Forge is naming a beer for the occasion: the Bob Randall Outlaw Pilsner.

“It’s exciting to see a new album from Bob Randall, who is one of the best country music songwriters we have today,” said James Treese, who has helped produce videos for Randall. “He’s easily comparable to the likes of Merle Haggard or Willie Nelson, but his style is uniquely outlaw and uniquely Bob Randall.”

Helping record the album, Al Paul is excited about the songs on the new album.

“One of the most important components in the studio are great songs which are the core requisite and the grease that keeps the industry running,” he said. “Bob’s sessions are the quintessential productive but chill atmosphere bouncing ideas like a ping-pong match — creativity, strong work ethic, musical chops and talent coalesce into this project.”

Ultimately, Randall sees the new album as a way to celebrate the message within outlaw country music.

“I’ve been to Nashville, and it’s just more of the same. The radio power in Nashville told one DJ that my music was too country, and to get it off the station,” he said. “So I told Nashville to stick it and came back to Pennsylvania. So I guess you can say I’m a real country outlaw, and that’s what this album represents.”

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