Blackfoot - 1982 Highway Song - Live

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ARTIST: Blackfoot
ALBUM: Highway Song - Live
SERIAL: K50603
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2013, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY185
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Rick Medlocke - vocals, guitars * Charlie Hargrett - lead guitars * Greg T Walker - bass, backing vocals * Jakson Spires - drums, percussion, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Gimme Gimme Gimme * 02 Every Man Should Know Queenie * 03 Good Morning * 04 Dry County * 05 Rollin' And Tumblin' * 06 Fly Away * 07 Road Fever * 08 Trouble In Mind * 09 Train Train * 10 Highway Song * 11 Howay The Lads


This is a bit of a rowdy live set from Jacksonville's loudest, and given they were well on their way, 1982 was a good year for them to release a live album.

Most of this album's material comes from their jaunt around the UK during 1981, and like most live albums from the era, I'd suggest there is a little studio tinkering to embellish the overall sound. Hey, they all did it back then, didn't they? No surprises.

The Songs

The set kicks off with two tracks from the 'Tomcattin' era; 'Gimme Gimme Gimme' and 'Every Man Should Know Queenie'. Both are a lot more powerful than I remember from the studio album. Nonetheless, it's high powered boogie, with Rick Medlocke at the top of his game.

Blackfoot then segue into two cuts from their (then) current LP 'Marauder'; 'Good Morning' and 'Dry County', another super pairing which extenuates the reputation of classic southern boogie.

The band jump head first into a John Lee Hooker cover in 'Rollin' And Stumblin' (a fine rendition it is too!), it's followed by the commercial track 'Fly Away'.

The opening track from 'Strikes' is next. The powerful 'Road Fever' sounds damn heavy, but 'Trouble In Mind' sounds absolutely amazing, combining southern boogie with a heavy blues approach.

'Train Train' another of the 'Strikes' hit-list is filled with mouth harp and raucous guitar. Medlocke gets the crowd rocking with a bit of banter, which he does throughout the album.

Blackfoot's signature piece 'Highway Song' is to this band what 'Freebird' and 'Boogie No More' are to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet.

In Summary

Without doubt, 'Highway Song' stands proudly alongside all the other great southern rock live albums released between 1975-1982. Easily accruing kudos as one of the loudest and crankiest sets recorded.

Twas a shame that the band changed horses and got fucked around big time by their management. From 1983 onward, I feel the band lost their way, with a couple of commercial albums which watered down their sound and unfortunately their fan-base.

'Highway Song' as it stands was Blackfoot's true last hurrah.

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