Blackfoot - Southern Native album review

The second coming of Blackfoot – with no original members included

Blackfoot Southern Native album cover

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Though a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd for the past 20 years, Blackfoot’s de facto leader Rickey Medlocke has broken new ground by reforming the band as a brand while taking a back seat as songwriter and producer. Given that two other survivors of the quartet that made Strikes, Tomcattin’ and Marauder must now relive their past under a new name, it’s a controversial move.

But once you accept that the 2016 Blackfoot’s Tim Rossi doesn’t sing like Medlocke, all other trademarks are present and just about correct. The title track, Call Of A Hero and the stomping cowbell boogie of Whiskey Train are archetypal Blackfoot. There’s also a hell-for-leather opener and a classic cover (CSNY’s Ohio – albeit tarnished by resurrecting Sweet Home Alabama’s dig at the song’s author, Neil Young, in an inappropriate context). There’s even a Highway Song-style slow-builder (Take Me Home – though it’s not a patch on the original).

Finally, echoing guest appearances on turn-of-the-80s Blackfoot albums made by his grandaddy Shorty, Rickey plays slide on Love This Town. Contrived? Yes. Cynical? Maybe. But to this fan of the original band, it pretty much works.

How It Took Blackfoot Ten Years To Become An Overnight Success

Blackfoot detail Southern Native

Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush, Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.