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Kingfish - 1978 Trident



ARTIST: Kingfish
ALBUM: Trident
LABEL: Jet
SERIAL: JZ 35479
YEAR: 1978

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Bob Hogins - keyboards, vocals * John Leslie Hug, Michael O'Neil - guitars * Matthew Kelly - guitar, vocals * Joe English, Dave Pepper - drums * Dave Torbert, Johnny Sandlin - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hard To Love Somebody * 02 Cheyenne * 03 Hurricane * 04 My Friend * 05 Magic Eyes * 06 Movin' Down The Highway * 07 Hawaii * 08 You And I * 09 Feels So Good * 10 Take It Too Hard


Background
It's not exactly news, but the Grateful Dead have little appeal for the majority of melodic rock fans. Frankly, I had a hard time understanding the cult following the band attracted and never found the music that special since all it boiled down to was country blues rock mixed with a few psychedelic touches. Canned Heat did it better in my opinion, but I digress. Yes, they were all excellent musicians and any band that could play extended jams for hours on end into the wee hours of the morning in an arena full of 'stoners' certainly deserves a special place in the history of rock, but outside of perhaps 1977's 'Terrapin Station' their studio work failed to impress me much, which is why Kingfish and their final album was such a surprise. Originally formed by Bob Weir and a few other Grateful Dead members; the first Kingfish album was not much different from the Dead musically. Their second album was a live release and again a big snooze, but after Weir left the band followed by more line-up changes including former Wings drummer Joe English joining Kingfish, things started looking up with 'Trident' taking on a decidedly radio friendly sound.


The Songs
On 'Trident' Kingfish sounds much like early Orleans and the Allman Brothers Band and very much a product of their time. The Opening 'Hard To Love Somebody' is a fine start while 'Magic Eyes' had all the potential of a hit single. 'Movin' Down The Highway' is typical get up and go Southern influenced rock, and yes there is a lot of that here as to be expected, but while the first Kingfish album failed to draw much attention from radio, 'Trident' did, especially the final track 'Take It Too Hard' which in my opinion is a lost FM radio classic.


In Summary
Just a guess, but I'm sure label chief Don Arden and Jet Records wouldn't settle for anything less than a commercially viable album considering the commercial successes the label was having at the time. Touring with label mates Electric Light Orchestra on their massive 'Out Of The Blue' tour as well as The Kinks exposed the band to a wider audience, but it seems it wasn't enough and the band fell apart. In the years since Kingfish have reformed occasionally, releasing the occasional live recording and releasing an oddball compilation for 'Deadheads' only. For reasons explained earlier, I have passed on this stuff. Just not interested, but for fans of good 70's rock, 'Trident' is definitely an obscurity worth checking into.


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