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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Blackfoot - 1980 Tomcattin'
Blackfoot - 1980 Tomcattin'

ARTIST: Blackfoot
ALBUM: Tomcattin'
SERIAL: SD 32-101
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1990, Atco, 32101-2* 2013, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY180


LINEUP: Rick Medlocke - vocals, guitars * Charlie Hargrett - lead guitars * Greg T Walker - bass * Jakson Spires - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Warped * 02 On The Run * 03 Dream On * 04 Street Fighter * 05 Gimme Gimme Gimme * 06 Every Man Should Know (Queenie) * 07 In The Night * 08 Reckless Abandoner * 09 Spendin' Cabbage * 10 Fox Chase'


One of a handful of southern rock bands that flew the flag for the Confederate during the 70's and 80's were Jacksonville based Blackfoot. Interestingly, and perhaps not widely known, is that the origins of the band had them traversing up and down the eastern seaboard between 1969 and 1975, and with a host of members coming and going. Blackfoot, named after the Indian heritage of members Medlocke, Walker and Spires, resettled in Florida after stints in New York City, New Jersey and North Carolina. During the early 70's, Medlocke and Walker even joined an early incarnation of the great Lynyrd Skynyrd, but when that path ran its course, Blackfoot was resurrected. Due to the Skynyrd connection, Blackfoot managed to release their first pair of albums 'No Reservations' and 'Flying High'. Their return to Florida coincided with their engagement as a backup band to female rocker Ruby Starr, and then during 1978, Blackfoot secured a record contract with Atco Records, releasing their third (but first for Atco) called 'Strikes' in 1979. Atco would be the band's home for the next 6 years.

The Songs
The triumvirate of albums: 'Strikes', 'Tomcattin' and 'Marauder' would all feature animals on their album covers, making for a memorable visual recollection of their LP's during this period. Though steeped in southern and country references and influences, Blackfoot were quite a heavy band for their time, and there is no real discernible reference to their Indian heritage either. 'Strikes' saw the band feature with two of their best known songs: 'Train Train' and 'Highway Song'. The following album 'Tomcattin' which was released in June 1980 didn't feature any songs that made for singles action, but that's not to say the album didn't have any worthwhile material. Far from it. The coarse opener 'Warped' with its chugga chugga guitar work and its arena rock like intensity gets things off to a great start. 'On The Run' continues the hot surge of metallic southern rock, 'Dream On' has a lot in common with other contemporaries of the day, while 'Street Fighter' is as tough as the songtitle suggests. 'Gimme Gimme Gimme' is another highlight, with the hot guitar lines worked into a humid southern/bluesy rocker. 'Every Man Should Know (Queenie)' is another fan favourite, a stomping rocker that has stood the test of time. 'In The Night' reduces the tempo, a slow burner ballad/rocker with some intense harmonica parts for good measure. Perhaps the closest to commercial material would be 'Reckless Abandoner', though the songtitle is a mouthful. 'Spendin' Cabbage' is pure southern rock balladry, with all the pre-requisite lyrical content associated with the South included within. My favourite track is the closer 'Fox Chase', with grand-dad Shorty Medlocke leading the way with a narration and a harmonica intro.

In Summary
1980 proved to be a busy year for Blackfoot on the touring front. The band went out as a support band for The Who, whom they also toured with the previous year. Blackfoot also landed a prestigious gig supporting AC/DC on their 'Back In Black' tour, plus they hooked up with The Scorpions on a jaunt to the UK later that year. Though 'Tomcattin' only reached #50 on the Billboard Charts, it was enough to earn them Gold Certification for album sales. 1981 also proved to be a successful year with their 'Marauder' release for which Chris (englandashes) will go into some detail with his forthcoming review of that one.

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#1 | sabace on January 22 2012 10:39:55
first lp I got by blackfoot back in 1980 and I still love it, althought strikes is my fave lp by them .
#2 | englandashes on January 22 2012 17:14:18
Always too wrapped up in Marauder....(which will be obvious soon..currently WIP), really should reappraise Tomcattin, will be on the old turntable tonight!
#3 | rkbluez on January 23 2012 11:19:14
Love the Blackfoot stuff especially the first 5 albums and Siogo was damn good fave is Flyin' High...that one rocks the hardest and is due to get the Rock Candy treatment...hopefully soon.
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