Blackfoot

On the Run

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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 singer/guitarist Rickey Medlocke, who happened to be Lynyrd Skynyrd's primary percussionist, as heard on the primordial Skynyrd's First: The Complete Muscle Shoals Album (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. Live on the Run (2004) contains a vintage set recorded at the Palladium in Hollywood on August 10, 1983. Blackfoot 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 piledriving "On the Run" from Tomcattin' (1980). Perhaps due to the dearth of suitably self-penned material, the band breathes fire into a cover of Uriah Heep's "Easy Livin'." Among the standout originals are the rebel-rousing seven-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 remove the song's intricate fretwork and lilting nature. The contents have also been configured as Hits You Remember: Live (2001), King Biscuit Flower Hour (1998), and simply Live (2000).

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