King Biscuit Flower Hour

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There is a reason that Southern rockers Blackfoot have so much in common musically with their considerably more prominent confederate compatriots Lynyrd Skynyrd. One factor is multi-instrumentalist Rick Medlocke (guitar/vocals), who was the band's primary percussionist, as heard on the primordial Skynyrd's First: Complete Muscle Shoals (1998) compilation. However, by the mid-'70s, Medlocke had co-founded Blackfoot, his own aggregate of wild-eyed southern boys -- all of whom were likewise Native American. Greatest Hits Live (2003) contains a vintage set, recorded at the Palladium in Hollywood on August 10, 1983. The band were at the zenith of their popularity, having headlined tours throughout the U.S. and Europe during the previous months. Hot on the heels of their sixth studio long-player, Siogo (1983), Blackfoot were captured in performance by the King Biscuit Flower Hour nationally syndicated radio program. The repertoire reflects a healthy sampling from their albums Strikes (1979) and Marauder (1981), the typical early-'80s corporate rock-sounding "Teenage Idol" from Siogo, as well as the pile-driving "On The Run" from Tomcattin' (1980). Perhaps due to the dearth of suitably self-penned material, the band breathe fire into a cover of Uriah Heep's "Easy Livin'." Among the standout originals are the rebel-rousing 7-plus-minute "Train, Train," "Livin' In The City," and the Skynyrd sound-alike "Highway Song." This reading loses some of its appeal due to the heavily distorted lead electric guitar and adrenaline-charged execution, which all but removed the song's intricate fretwork and lilting nature. Although this specific title was issued in 2003, the contents have also been configured as Hits You Remember: Live [01] (2001), King Biscuit Flower Hour [98] (1998), and simply Live [00] (2002). Greatest Hits Live concludes with an extended telephone "Interview with Rickey Medlocke," which was first included on the aforementioned King Biscuit Flower Hour [98] release.

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