20 April 2018 (released)
07 April 2018
Fascinating new re-issues that show the band making a remarkable transition from out and out country rockers through to hard-rockers with a country tinge to their music.
‘Lady In Waiting’ shows them as a pretty straight country band. Gorgeous harmonies, jangling guitars – there is a very Eagles/Byrds feel here – and upbeat rhythms. ‘Breaker Breaker’ gets it off to a fine start while ‘South Carolina’ rally takes you into the strength of the band with superb guitar work from Hughie Thompson and Billy Jones. They cover Paul Revere & The Raiders ‘Free Born Man’ taking it down into the deep South while the real beauty is in ‘Girl From Ohio’ with fabulous harmonies and real emotion in the song. Paul Rothchild’s (Doors, Janis Joplin etc) production really brings out the music in the songs.
The other side of the pair of discs is a single-CD-two-album deal with two of their albums from much later in their career. This was a period when rock was becoming more riff-oriented and the twin lead guitars allowed them to really take the concept of the one laying down riffs while the other played around the rest of the music a long way forward – having one playing Fender and the other Gibsons also led towards the more rock oriented sound of the time. It is a pretty good example of the genre, certainly a heck of a lot better than many of the bands - such as Black Oak Arkansas & The Boyzz – who were making the headlines at the time.
Of the two I would probably choose ‘Lady In Waiting’ for its pure country feel but both sets have their merits.