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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Redwing - Redwing (1971 us, astonishing classic rock with country folk blues and psych tinges)

The seeds of Redwing were sown in Sacramento, California in 1962. when folk trio Tim, Tom and Ron formed. Comprising Timothy B Schmit (guitar / bass / vocals), Tom Phillips (guitar / vocals) and Ron Floegel (guitar / vocals), they soon added drummer George Hullin and evolved into a surf band named the Contenders, then a British Invasion-influenced act called the New Breed. Under that moniker they issued their debut 45 on the tiny Diplomacy label in 1965, Green Eyed Woman I I'm In Love. 

The A-side was stomping garage rock, while the flip was an obscure Lennon-McCartney number that had been a hit for the Fourmost but wasn't recorded by the Beatles. A 1966 follow-up on Mercury (Leave Me Be I I've Been Wrong Before) failed to break nationally, and their last two 45s (Want Ad Reader / One More For The Good Guys and Fine With Me I The Sound Of The Music) were minor garage classics that appeared on their own World United label.

Despite recording an LP's worth of material at this time, no album release was forthcoming so in 1968 they were only too glad to sign to a production company named Equinox (under the aegis of Byrds producer Terry Melcher). They promptly taped a further album's worth of material as the Breed, produced by engineer Erik Wangberg— but were dismayed when it appeared on ABC as by 'Glad', entitled Feelin' Glad (ABCS 655, 1969) Worse still, studio musicians had been drafted in to record certain parts, and several songs were swamped by string and brass arrangements. 

Disaffected, Schmit departed to join Poco (and later the Eagles), leaving his former bandmates to draft in Andy Samuels, late of local blues act Nate Skitter's Band. Stung by their experience with ABC, they recorded a self-financed LP's worth of demos, which soon won them a deal with Fantasy, which was riding high with the massive success of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Their sound was now a tauiv gritty and commercial blend of blues, country and rock influences, which legendary Rolling Stone critic Ralph J Gleason declared had 'knocked me right out of my mind'. 

Nonetheless, their debut LP (produced by Creedence engineer Russ Gary) was not the bestseller it could have been, and four further albums (1972's What This Country Needs, 1973's Take Me Home, 1974's Dead Or 'Alive and 1975's Beyond We Sun And Stars} were solid Californian sellers but unsuccessful nationally, causing them to split at the end of  1975.
CD Liner-Notes

1. The Underground Railway - 3:01
2. Please Doctor Please (Ron Floegel, Andrew Samuels) - 3:00
3. Bonnie Bones - 2:52
4. Dark Thursday (Ron Floegel, Andrew Samuels) - 2:45
5. Sweetwalkin' Lady (Ron Floegel, Andrew Samuels) - 3:18
6. I'm Your Lover Man - 5:13
7. Shorty Go Home (Ron Floegel, Andrew Samuels) - 4:29
8. Hogtied - 3:15
9. I'm Counting on You (To Come Through) - 4:58
10.Oh Maggie (Don't Lift the Weight) (Ron Floegel, Andrew Samuels) - 3:18
11.(Tell Me Baby) Why You Been Gone So Long (Micheal Newbury) - 3:01
12.California Blues (Jimmy Rogers) - 3:56
All songs by Ron Floegel, Andrew Samuels, Tom Phillips except where stated.

The Redwing
*Andrew Samuels - Lead Guitar, Bass, Vocals
*Ron Floegel - Rhthm Guitar, Vocals
*Tom Phillips - Guitar, Slide Guitar, Piano
*George Hullin - Drums, Vocals

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