Outside his work with Lynard Skynyrd, Rickey Medlock was a key member of southern rock band Blackfoot. After achieving moderate commercial success in the US charts in the late 70s the band continued to record and release albums over the next few decades. Medlock may no longer be with the band, but as outlaw rock is making a resurgence with Black Stone Cherry and The Cadillac Three, he's recruited some new members to record under the Blackfoot banner. Medlock's involvement remains studio based, acting as producer for the band. This certainly helps to add continuity to the band's lineage. Medlock has referred to the album as “old school meets new school, classic to new rock for a brand new generation.”
It may not be a Blackfoot album as you remember, but the spirit of the band's music is certainly there, only with a very modern feel. From the crazy juggernaut opening of Need My Ride to the ode to the South in the title track, with some soulful female backing vocal, it's very clear that these Jacksonville natives are carrying the torch of Medlock's past work forward. There're some wholesome melodies here and flashy guitar work, everything you would expect from southern rock and Blackfoot. It's not exceptional, but it's by no means a bad album either.
Everyman is a paired down track, showing Tim Rossi's silky smooth southern vocals. It's mellow, but there's a bit of a bite to the track in a similar way to Diary Of A Working Man from Blackfoot's Marauder album. Call Of A Hero has a chugging truck beat, but with the sunshine melody brought to life by Rossi and the tastefully added slide guitar. It's the perfect track from a long drive down Route 66 and the return of those underused backing vocals.
Take Me Home is another stylishly moody track with some trademark Skynyrd dual guitar. Satisfied Man pulls in those licks and bass lines that we've heard in more recent times with Rival Sons and BSC. There's also elements here of Free and Bad Company too, unsurprising as they're Medlock's contemporaries. Thematically it's cowboys and Indians meets Sons of Anarchy, with references to outlaws, the wide open road, girls and gunfights. The album's closing track pays homage to the South's Latino roots with the Flamenco rock instrumental Diablo Loves Guitar, very El Mariachi, very Santana.
There are comparisons to be made here from Medlock's last album as vocalist 1994's After The Reign in terms of feel on tracks like Ohio. The clear distinction between the new and the old here is that this album is clean and precise in its production, so it sounds up to date. With a few crackles here and there you could almost be fooled into thinking it was a classic Blackfoot album, almost...
Groupie Rating 3/5