Blackfoot – Highway Song Live
Rock Candy Records
Blackfoot was the hard rock version of southern rock’s finest bands. Where Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers would take time between rocking out with a ballad, or a blues song or, in the Allmans case, a jazzy number, Blackfoot did nothing but pump out balls-to-the-wall southern fried rock and roll. In the studio, they were loud, in concert, they were dangerous.
When these red-necked rockers landed in Europe in 1982, they took the country by storm, riding high on a trifecta of albums: 1979’s Strikes, 1980’s Tomcattin’ and 1981’s Marauder. They took the stage and plugged in the Rolling Stones Mobile and recorded some of the baddest-ass riffs they had ever played to an audience that was so worked up they spontaneous sang the final cut on the album “Howay the Lads!”
The show starts out with “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” and front man/lead guitarist/vocalist Rickey Medlocke spouts out the words as if they are competing for center stage with his distorted and bombastic riffs and solos.
This was a band of rockers who were dumb enough not to realize how great they were, yet smart enough to focus on the only thing that mattered, which was that evening’s performance. Blackfoot played like men possessed.
“Fly Away” is a great song that sets a tone, as Medlocke gives a shout out to his Uncle Shorty who was responsible for his musical DNA- the man who blew the harp on their biggest hit “Train Train.” Live, this song explodes with its massive riffage and fierce beat. The best song of the evening -every evening Blackfoot took the stage- was “Highway Song.” Best described as Blackfoot’s own “Free Bird,” the tune was a true game changer for the band.
“Highway Song” is a tune that mixes the loneliness of the road with the exhilaration of a live rock show. The lyrics, the sounds, and most of all the solos, make this one of the shining examples of the short lived, and often underappreciated, genre of Southern Rock.
Members of Blackfoot were true rock stars, and on this live effort they more than proved the south is indeed quite capable of rising up and doing it again!
1. GIMME, GIMME, GIMME
2. EVERY MAN SHOULD KNOW (QUEENIE)
3. GOOD MORNING
4. DRY COUNTY
5. ROLLIN’ & TUMBLIN’
6. FLY AWAY
7. ROAD FEVER
8. TROUBLE IN MIND
9. TRAIN TRAIN
10. HIGHWAY SONG
11. HOWAY THE LADS
By Jeb Wright