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Exile - 1973 Exile

ALBUM: Exile
LABEL: Wooden Nickel
YEAR: 1973


LINEUP: Jimmy Stokley - lead vocals * Billy Luxon - vocals, percussion, trumpet * Buzz Cornelison - piano, trumpet, vocals * Bernie Faulkner - organ, acoustic guitar, alto sax, vocals * Jimmy Pennington - guitar, vocals * Kenny Weir - bass, vocals * Bobby Johns - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Devil's Bite * 02 Ridin' Thumb * 03 You're My Woman * 04 Mabel * 05 Just One Victory * 06 Jesus Is Just Alright * 07 Please Be There * 08 Believe * 09 Do What You Think You Should * 10 Hold Tight, Woman


Exile were part of the Chicago-based Wooden Nickel stable of stars that included Zazu, The Jaggerz and Canadian hard rock outfit BOA, all of which we assume from everything we know about label mates Styx, received the short end of the stick from the label run by music biz mover and shaker Bill Traut. The Kentucky based band released one album on the shady imprint which never cast a shadow on the charts, no doubt due to Wooden Nickel's lack of actual promotional dollars and apparent unwillingness to support their signings. Staying true to their hard working spirit; Exile were not deterred, hitting the road from coast to coast on the club and college/high school gym circuit while picking up the odd support slot with a variety of acts including Black Oak Arkansas and fellow comrades Styx.

The Songs
This really is a dynamite record, rooted in the workman-like Midwest style popularized by bands like Jo Jo Gunne, REO Speedwagon and Grand Funk Railroad with splashes of southern rock that make for a heady brew. 'Devil's Bite' was lifted as the album's first single and it's a scorcher with a killer hook and kick ass guitar work from Jimmy 'J.P' Pennington. With a better label, it might have fared better, but it remains a lost jewel of '70s classic rock. 'Ridin' Thumb' carries on along similar lines while 'You're My Woman has a definite Bob Seger feel. Exile gives 'Jesus Is Just All Right' a very different vibe than the more popular Doobie Brothers version, coming across much darker and more serious. 'Please Be There' is a good rip of Crosby Stills and Nash's vocal style and yet I can't figure out how 'Do What You Think You Should' was chosen as the album's second single sounding very much to these ears like a third rate Wet Willie.

In Summary
Bouncing between Wooden Nickel, RCA, Atco and Warner Brothers, Exile after their number one success with the classic' Kiss You All Over' came full circle with 1980's excellent 'Don't Leave Me This Way' which offered up a cool southern pop rock album that sadly went unnoticed at the time, although it was the start of a successful country music career that would follow the band into the early '90s.

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#1 | universaltongue on September 27 2010 06:06:15
Right on. I was never a fan of this band, but have to admit this early effort from them is unlike anything else in their repertoire. 'Devil's Bite' smokes and there's alot of soul in these grooves as well. Good to see this getting some face time at GD clap

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