By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Two long-running country bands with an intertwined history, Blackhawk and the Outlaws, will perform tonight at Downstream Casino.
Blackhawk formed when songwriters and band members joined efforts. Songwriters Dave Robbins and Van Stephenson wrote music for Restless Heart, and Henry Paul was a member of the Outlaws.
Blackhawk broke out in country music in 1993 after signing with Arista Nashville. "Goodbye Says it All" reached No. 11 on American country charts, and "Every Once in a While" followed up with a No. 2 finish. Its self-titled debut featured three other songs to crack the top 10, including "I Sure Can Smell the Rain," "Down in Flames" and "That's Just About Right," and went platinum twice.
The band has released four more studio albums and other compilations. The band's last album, "Down from the Mountain," was released in 2011. Two of the band's singles, "I'm Not Strong Enough to Say No" and "Like There Ain't No Yesterday," hit No. 1 on Canada's country charts.
The band has continued to tour and record despite the death of Stephenson in 2002 from melanoma. He was replaced by Randy Threet, who is also a former member of the Outlaws.
The Outlaws have been together with various lineups since 1967. The band scored its biggest crossover hit in 1980 with a cover of "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky." Blackhawks' Paul and Threet also perform with the band's current lineup.
The concert is at 8 p.m. today at the casino's pavilion. Tickets range from $25 to $50.