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Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Monday, February 12, 2024

Winterhawk - Dog Soldier (1980 us, awesome hard rock, 2021 hard sleeve remaster)

San Francisco band Winterhawk were years ahead of their time. They’re best remembered for frontman/guitarist Nik Alexander’s distinctive mashups of 70s acid rock and Cree Indian folk music. Alexander was fiercely proud of his heritage, and that connection to the land resonates potently in the band’s many politically-oriented songs. In addition to rocking out ancient folk melodies, they sometimes employed indigenous instruments like shakers and wood flute. Drummer Alfonso Kolb would frequently diverge into native rhythms as well.

On Dog Soldier, the group are tighter. Fringed leather tunics, furs, feathers, and loincloths are not the standard garb of the average rock band, and neither were many popular bands quite literally gushing with Indian blood and heritage. Likewise, few bands indeed carry high the philosophies, and traditions of their forefathers cultures as did Winterhawk. A Native American foursome that specialized in rapidfire, hard rock and roll. But the striking thing about this band is not so much the warrior beliefs, but their sincerity and genuine faith in themselves and their culture. Winterhawk appeared in the 1983 US Festival and has opened for such big names as Tina Turner, Santana, Country Joe and the Fish, Steve Miller, Van Halen and Motley Crue. The Electric Warriors LP was produced by Tom Bee of XIT, AKA Lincoln St Exit. A must have for Native American, Hard Rock, Metal music fans. Nik Alexander's song writing and guitar playing skills are the best. 

We Are the People is a towering, defiantly timeless reminder of how much more civilized the North American natives were, compared to the imperialist invaders. There’s also Crazy, shifting between hammering riffage and a spare, cantering native rhythm; We’re Still Here, a surreal attempt at politically-fueled disco; Warriors Road, a subdued acoustic freedom-fighter anthem; and I Will Remember. a stark, mystical folk tune. Good to have this distinctive band back in print.

Unfortunately, Nik Alexander passed away in July 5, 2017 after battling with cancer.  His memory lives on through the timeless compositions he created, that will surely be remembered and enjoyed by every serious music fan and collector unto the ages of the ages.

1. Our Love Will Last - 3:11
2. Honey Lady - 3:41
3. Crazy - 4:50
4. Loser - 4:14
5. Lady Blue - 4:04
6. We're Still Here - 3:46
7. Warriors Road - 3:15
8. We Are The People - 5:45
9. I Will Remember - 3:12
All compositions by Nik Alexander

*Nik Alexander - Guitar, Vocals
*Doug Love - Bass, Vocals
*Gordon Campbell - Bell
*Jon Gibson - Drums, Vocals