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Strikes

Blackfoot

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Album Review

After missing the boat with Lynyrd Skynyrd (for whom he played drums early on), guitarist/singer Rick Medlocke formed Blackfoot, arguably the first all-Native American rock group. The band struggled for almost a decade, playing run-of-the-mill Southern rock that they eventually injected with extra volume and attitude before signing with Atco, for whom they recorded their 1979 breakthrough Strikes. Known as a ferocious live unit and probably the heaviest of Southern rock bands (see opener "Road Fever"), Strikes also proved that Blackfoot could write great melodies for the gloomy "Left Turn on a Red Light" and the inspired cover version of Free's "Wishing Well." But the band's biggest hit would come in the form of the seven-minute "Highway Song," a tune that was admittedly very reminiscent of Skynyrd's "Freebird" and that helped drive the album to gold status. Also of note is the harmonica performance of Shorty Medlocke (Rick's grandfather) on his own blues, "Train, Train."

Biography

Formed: 1972 in Jacksonville, FL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Blackfoot were contemporaries of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and tried for years to make it as a Southern rock band, although they finally succeeded as a hard rock outfit, in the manner of AC/DC and the Scorpions. They racked up a hit album (Strikes) and a pair of successful singles ("Train, Train," "Highway Song") in the...
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Strikes, Blackfoot
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