Saturday, October 28, 2023

Blackfoot - Flyin' High (1976 us, awesome guitar driven hard southern rock, 2000 edition)

Blackfoot began as Fresh Garbage. The hard- rocking band first saw life in the same tough Jacksonville, Florida, club scene that spawned Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet. And, as Skynyrd became international stars, members of Blackfoot would come and go from Skynyrd, including leader Ricky "Rattlesnake" Medlocke. Indeed, as the century wound down, Medlocke was back in Lynyrd Skynyrd, serving as second drummer for that band and also doing some dates with a newly re-configured Blackfoot.

Medlocke has a varied musical background. His grandfather was the renowned bluegrass musician Shorty Medlocke. In the late '60s, Ricky formed Fresh Garbage with Jakson Spires and Greg T. Walker. They were later joined by New Yorker Charlie Hargrett and became regulars in the rough and tumble bar circuit of north Florida playing as Blackfoot.

In 1970, Blackfoot broke up and both Medlocke and Walker joined what was then the constantly changing Lynyrd Skynyrd line-up. Three years later, Medlocke gave up his drummer's chair with Lynyrd Skynyrd to return to a revived Blackfoot, where he played guitar and sang. In 1975 the band debuted on Island Records with No Reservations, a powerful record that reflected both Medlocke's Sioux Indian heritage and his time in Lynyrd Skynyrd. Granddad Shorty appeared, playing on Railroad Man. When No Reservations did not get the attention it deserved, the group went to the Epic division of Columbia Records for one release-Flyin' High-a strong 1976 album that makes up this package.

By 1979, the group was signed to the Atco subsidiary of Atlantic Records. Strikes, their third album, charted in the spring and attained platinum status, helped by constant touring and the Top 40 singles Highway Song and Train, Train. Strikes was followed by Tomcattin' in the summer of 1980. A year later they were back with Marauder, which sported the hit Fly Away. They also charted on Atco with Siogo-which was notable for the debut of former Uriah Heep keyboard ace Ken Hensley-and Vertical Smiles, an '84 release that marked the exit of guitarist Spires. Hensley was gone by the time Rick Medlocke And Blackfoot came out in 1987 on Atco. By the late '80s, Blackfoot was winding down and dropped out of sight for a time. Medlocke was back with the band in 1994, signed to Nalli Records, which issued the blues rock of After The Reign. Not long after that he was back in Lynyrd Skynyrd.
by Mark Marymont, 1999
1. Feelin' Good - 2:47
2. Flyin' High (Charlie Hargrett, Jackson Spires, Rick Medlocke) - 4:20
3. Try A Little Harder (Charlie Hargrett, Jackson Spires, Rick Medlocke) - 4:48
4. Stranger On The Road - 2:43
5. Save Your Time - 3:43
6. Dancin' Man (Charlie Hargrett, Jackson Spires, Rick Medlocke) - 3:38
7. Island Of Life - 4:07
8. Junkie's Dream - 3:57
9. Madness - 4:56
10.Mother (Greg T. Walker) - 2:46
All songs by Jackson Spires, Rick Medlocke except where indicated

*Rickey Medlocke - Lead Vocals, Rhythm, Lead, Acoustic , Electric Guitars, Dobro
*Charlie Hargrett - Lead, Rhythm, Acoustic Guitars
*Greg T. Walker - Bass, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Triple Guitar (Track 10)
*Jakson Spires - Drums, Backing Vocals, Percussion
*Laura Struzick - Backing Vocals
*Suzy Storm - Backing Vocals