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Two Guns - 1979 Balls Out



ARTIST: Two Guns
ALBUM: Balls Out
LABEL: Capricorn
SERIAL: CPN 0224
YEAR: 1979

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Kenny Barker - guitar, vocals * Bobby Williams - guitar * Mike Sconce - bass, vocals * Pat Sconce - drums * Paul Hornsby - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hard Times * 02 I Just Dropped On By To Tell You * 03 Slippin' Into The Night * 04 Judgement Plea * 05 The Daltons * 06 Seems Like Thunder * 07 Look In Your Eyes * 08 There's A Battle Goin' On


Background
Here we have another fairly obscure late seventies Southern Rock album, but once that certainly doesn't disappoint. This was the only vinyl statement from this Oklahoma based group, who signed to Capricorn but were caught in the midst of the labels untimely demise as it folded mere weeks after this albums release. Production was provided by Paul Hornsby who had previously produced other Southern legends like Marshall Tucker and Charlie Daniels as well as the lesser likes of Wet Willie, Missouri and Jimi Jamison's Target. Two Guns paid their dues supporting fellow greats Molly Hatchet and Point Blank in their home state. Word has it that Two Guns were originally from Texas before moving, and the Sconce bothers had links to Lynyrd Skynyrd in their formative days. Fact or fiction? A definite fact is the quality of 'Balls Out', sure fire, good time Southern boogie all the way.


The Songs
While this is a typical Southern album in regards to sound and approach, Two Guns did have a fairly unique style all their own. Skynyrd is the easiest comparison, and on the whole this is more relaxed than 'balls out' as opposed to the often raging Molly Hatchet. The band does shine in the twin guitar stakes during 'The Daltons', which has an epic atmosphere to the drawn out guitar work, and it manages to combine at once the feel of The Outlaws, merged with Hatchet and Skynyrd. It's a nice workout and the clear classic on display. Two Guns don't shy away from AOR, as reflected in 'Look In Your Eyes' which is a decent attempt at commercial ground. But that's about as far as it goes, the remainder all adopting bruising riffs without ever truly knocking you out either. 'Seems Like Thunder' uses female backing vocals in the gospel tradition pioneered by Skynyrd and they are present elsewhere also. The Muscle Shoals horn section is heard adding their talents to the swank of 'Slippin' Into The Night', but try telling me 'Judgement Plea' isn't Blackfoot mistakenly added onto this album - such is the similarity. That said, it's still a boogie delight.


In Summary
Sadly this was all that was ever heard from Two Guns and from what I understand nothing much is known about their whereabouts to this day, although Barker reportedly is still doing shows in Texas. With the death of their label, the album died a quick death as well, although trawling through the internet there appears to be a lot of support for 'Balls Out' from the more dedicated and fervent Southern rockers still out there, most of them probably around at the time. This is still on Ebay going for ludicrous prices on vinyl which indicates no CD appearance and most likely it never will see the format. While not up to the standards of the true Southern big boys this still has enough appeal to warrant looking around for.


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Comments
#1 | Eric on May 14 2007 00:37:07
Very, very good album! Maybe part of the problem was the album cover which didn't exactly scream 'Southern Rock!' to potential record buyers at the time. hmm!
#2 | gdazegod on May 26 2007 06:47:35
You're right Eric.. It didn't. For all we know, Two Guns could've been a British pop record judging by the record cover.
 
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