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Band's list Southern Rock Blackfoot Southern Native
Album, Released date : 05 August 2016 - Loud And Proud Records
Style: Southern Rock

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RATING SOM : 13/20
All rates : 14/20 You must be logged to rate this album
Tracklist
1. Need My Ride
2. Southern Native
3. Everyman
4. Call of a Hero
5. Take Me Home
6. Whiskey Train
7. Satisfied Man
8. Ohio
9. Love This Town
10. Diablo Loves Guitar

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3 ratings 1 14/20
Review
13 / 20
    hack, Wednesday 31 August 2016 Talk to your friends  
...relieved by a generation Y line up.

A glance at the lengthy list of past band members that goes over twenty names deep, gives the impression that there is a reason why so many performers have come and gone. Singer/songwriter/rhythm guitarist Rickey Medlocke was the only consistent member for over twenty years. It probably means that he views the band as his own property and makes personnel changes as he sees fit. Sort of like how Dave Mustaine ruthlessly manages his line ups with Megadeth. Blackfoot was moderately popular in the late seventies and through the mid eighties. When their releases would consistently appear in the Billboard top 200 charts. Then their sales dropped dramatically in the early nineties, as the grunge and alternative genres gained prominence in the states. Now over twenty years later, the band has been reincarnated with a new line up of young performers, under the supervision of Medlocke. Who himself has left the line up.

Vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tim Rossi joined the band in twenty twelve. He is the recognizable character who sports a Mohawk hairdo. His specialty is blues rock and he has worked as a guitar instructor. He sings with a medium range voice and sometimes uses a seventies styled pop bounce. His presence projects a masculine identity with a slight Southern accent and a good old boy attitude with plenty of bad grammar. He has the basic singing fundamentals, but doesn't go too high or low with the vocal notes. In other words he has a trained ability, but not a natural talent as a singer. The first song, Need my Ride, starts with fast and melodic guitar picking that yields some resemblance to the old Def Leppard song, Rocks Off. "Running down the road, clearing 105." Rossi lilts his voice like classic bubblegum pop music. "I'll let you out if you don't like the way I drive." The bass music is almost indistinct, except that it adds some extra force to the rhythm guitar. The drums are beaten hard, but don't offer anything too aesthetic. About halfway in there is an incendiary guitar solo with a Southern styled twang. "I'm never satisfied, I just can't stop." "I need my ride, need my ride."

Lead Guitarist Rick Krasowski joined the band earlier this year. His specialties include rock, blues and soul. He also works as a solo artist in the nightclub circuits across the Southeast. Sometimes he goes with melodic picking fabricated into schemes of Southern rock, with hard rock strumming from the rhythm guitarist. He can play some gritty riff shifting with commercial textures reminiscent of a classic eighties style. His bluesy high note strumming takes on a range of influences from different eras of popular rock. The third track, Every Man, begins with a delicate series of guitar strumming notes. The vocals are sung lightly and intimately. "I recall wanting to fit in with my friends." "Through it all I realized I was not like them, but that's all right." It seems like a slow ballad with a similar texture to The Red Hot Chili Peppers song, Under the Bridge, with a Southern fried character. The drum music joins in slowly and gently taps along. "Every man must travel down his own road." "Every heart beats to a different drum." The theme of this song relates to when youth grows up to pursue his own ambitions.

Bassist Brian Carpenter has been with the band since twenty twelve. On his Facebook profile he indicates that The Clash is his favorite band. He started out with punk rock bands, but has been performing with blues rock bands in the nightclub venues of the Southeast. The bass music doesn't stand in the forefront, as the guitar music and vocals dominate the presentations. Its presence usually Lives with a slight contribution to the overall depth of the compositions. Occasionally it has a few moments to be a bit distinguishable, but really never gets a chance to show anything significant. The sixth song, Whiskey Train, starts with an acutely melodic guitar hook. Which is repeated and then joined by the deeper pitched instruments. "Well I ain't gonna ride no whiskey train." "Cuzz I'm a throwin' my bottle, baby down the drain." The song carries on with the same basic structure, as the drum beats become more active. A mild high note guitar solo moves in with a leisurely manner as a means toward the end. "I gotta shake these low down blues." "Won't buy no ticket on whiskey train."

Drummer Matt Anastasi joined the band in twenty twelve. Not much information is available about him online. But he has enigmatically described himself as "a jack of no trades." His beats keep up pace to which ever tempo is currently in progress. Not much of a show off, but he does offer some beat tone variations during the hot guitar solos. He provides harder beats during the hard rock songs and softer beats in the slower tracks. The seventh track, Satisfied Man, begins with a crusty rhythm and then the lead guitar whines its way in. The vocals boldly asserts itself. "Busting my ass for what little I got." "Hard working man ain't got a whole lot." The bass rhythms are plucked along with deep notes in the scenery behind the guitar music. A hot guitar solo comes up about halfway in and increases to a flowery intensity. The drums are beat hard without much in the way of melodic beat patterns. "Lord knows I'm a satisfied man." The vocals are adequate, but not with as much heartfelt emotion as it could display.

Rickey Medlocke is gifted with an awesome vocal talent. He can carry a high note with an operatic quality and deLiver it with a spunky personality. Musically offering a dynamic activity of hard rock, with a Southern flair. They brought tough competition to legendary rivals like Lynrd Skynrd and Molly Hatchett, with their awesome instrumentation. It often found an inspirational groove, that had a lot of depth with rhythmical patterns from the bass and drums. So now the traditionally baby boomer cast of performers has been relieved by a generation Y line up. Vocalist Tim Rossi doesn't exude a magnetic charisma and he doesn't display the range or emotion of Medlocke. The guitar music isn't as intense or articulate as the classic line ups were. The bass playing doesn't provide much dimension to the songs and the drum performances lack flashy pizzazz. Some of the songs sound similar and predictable, without much innovation. They are no competition for the older line ups, but the album still rocked out okay. This was their debut release with this new identity. So if the same line up returns with another album, then maybe their musical chemistry will improve.




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