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1973’s Bang represented yet another new beginning for the resilient James Gang. Domenic Troiano replaced Joe Walsh, and when Troiano left, drummer Jim Fox replaced him with Tommy Bolin, who had found minimal success with the Colorado-based outfit Zephyr. A guitar phenom, Bolin very much returned the Gang to Walsh’s original vision for the group, and Bolin’s second and final album as leader — 1974’s Miami — even reprises the cover motif of the group’s legendary Rides Again LP. “Cruisin’ Down the Highway,” “Do It (The Way You Do It),” “Wildfire” and “Summer Breezes” don’t pack the punch of “Funk #49,” but they are nonetheless grade-A slabs of muscle-car clout. The cover art’s eerie reversal of Rides Again — what once was white is now black, and there is a pink flamingo stamped in the center, as if to signify a modicum of tropical sleaze — is apt. The hippie dream of the Gang’s early years has given way to the brooding undertones of “Sleepwalker” and “Head Above Water,” in which vocalist Roy Kenner exhorts the listener to “try to keep your head above the water” as the music descends into a torrent of swampy guitar.


Formed: 1966 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '90s, '00s

With the emergence of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience during the late '60s, the path was cleared for other hard-rockin' "trios." Arguably, the finest to emerge from the subsequent American crop was the James Gang. Despite penning a few of classic rock radio's most enduring songs, the James Gang ultimately failed to deliver on their initial promise, as constant lineup juggling ultimately derailed the group. The Gang's roots stretch back to 1966 in Cleveland, OH, where drummer Jim Fox formed...
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Miami, James Gang
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