Barry Bailey - Guitar
Ronnie Hammond - Vocals, Background Vocals
J.R. Cobb - Guitar, Background Vocals
Roy Yeager - Drums and Percussion
Paul Goddard - Bass
Dean Daughtry - Keyboards
This album, released in 1980, didn't reach the number of listeners the last few albums had-the music scene was shifting and what had been labeled Southern Rock wasn't getting the attention it had previously. It was too bad the audience didn't stick around, because they missed out on another fine collection of songs. The group continued the softer, pop approach of Underdog while injecting a swinging country/western feel into these nine original songs. The majority are uptempo, with a couple classic slower selections-and they are all generally shorter, with only two over five minutes.

The album starts off with Cocaine Charlie, a musically rousing tribute to the mixed blessings of the '70s. I Ain't Much and Putting My Faith in Love are uptempo, fun and feature some fine playing. Rough at the Edges and Silver Eagle take the listener to the wide open spaces of cowboys and/or bands on the road. Pedestal is a beautiful meditation on love's ups and downs, and Strictly R&R musically reflects on how far ARS had come and how much they still had to offer.

Song by Song
1. Cocaine Charlie (Buie/Hammond)-4:53
        The album starts off with an uptempo number that musically features a driving rhythm and an excellent guitar workout. The lyrics provide a complicated and contrasting commentary on a "victim of the '70s." On the one hand "he took it one day at a time and lived the way he wanted to..." But while he was "the life of the party" he also was "a victim of ecstasy" who is "nothing but a memory…may he rest in peace."
2. Next Year's Rock and Roll (Buie/Daughtry-5:20
        The group re-visits the musical presentation of So Into You in a commentary on the music business and it's pursuit of the next big thing. The lyrics seem to express the group's frustration with the way the industry has run off after disco and new wave while ignoring a band that still had a lot more great music to give. The message is reinforced by the frenzied but succinct musical close.
3. I Ain't Much (Buie/Cobb)-4:23
        It's right back to rocking with this middle paced meditation on appreciating a good relationship-"what you gonna do when the new wears off…one thing's for sure, true love endures." The sweet sentiments are punctuated with a soaring guitar solo.
4. Putting My Faith in Love (Buie/Daughtry/Cobb)-5:10
        A playful piano intro leads into a swinging, uptempo dedication to hoping for the best. There is some great, driving ensemble playing and trademark tempo shifts in this hidden gem.
5. Rough at the Edges (Buie/Daughtry)-3:16
        The country and western feel comes through strongest on this tribute to a cowboy hero who "was smooth on the draw," featuring some nice keyboard work.
6. Silver Eagle (Buie/Cobb)-3:51
        ARS revisits the life of a band on the tour bus in this lovely tune that features lyrics that question "how many Holiday Inns and overnight friends" with beautiful backing guitar work that puts the listener right there with them following "that long white line."
7. Pedestal (Buie/Hammond)-2:49
        An achingly beautiful meditation on the hope and disappointment that love can embody. This is another classic ARS ballad with a steady rhythm and a chorus that seems to descend and deflate with a touching sadness.
8. Try My Love (Buie/Hammond)-4:04
        The tempo picks back up with some more up tempo encouragement to move on and try to find happiness, with swirling guitar work that lifts and renews the spirit.
9. Strictly R&R (Buie/Nix/Daughtry/Walker)-4:41
        Another uptempo number closes the album with reflections back to the early days when "we didn't know but a couple of chords, but we played them both with feel and it felt unreal." Perhaps the music business had left ARS wishing for simpler times, but "the guitar player's learned to play and singer's learned to sing" and they were continuing to make great music.

Primary Works
Compilation Discs

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