Redbone: Native Americans Doing it With Jimi’s Blessing
13th July 2017
Title: Potlach/Message From a Drum/Cycles
Label: Floating World
A rock band from LA, the more you look at their work, the more you look at this double disc CD, the more you begin to think, “Native American Indians”. And you would be right because two Native American Indians Pat and Lolly Vegas fronted the bands. Both had worked under their own names in the 1965 comedy film It’s a Bikini World in which, and I quote, “Male chauvinist Mike attempts to get an intelligent burgeoning feminist Delilah into his harem.” But we won’t hold that against them.
The eventual 4-piece band, all Native Amercian Indians, was set-up with the encouragement of Jimi Hendrix, of all people. Successful singles included Maggie on Epic, The Witch Queen of New Orleans and Come and Get Your Love (which appeared in the film Guardians of the Galaxy, trivia fans).
What we’ve got hear is a great value 2CD pack feature three albums. Potlach was a 1970 follow-up to the band’s debut of the same year offering a rock beat that’s decidedly funky in groove. The lead vocals are not the strongest but the album remains strong in terms of songwriting.
Message From A Drum (1971) is replete with interesting guitar work and a semblance of maturity in terms of arrangements with a string section on The Witch Queen of New-Orleans.
Cycles (1977) was the band’s first album in three years at that point with Pat and Lolly the only survivors of the original line-up. There’s a disco feel here and a loss of focus. Although this might have had something to do with their growing dedication to Native American Indian politics.
Mastering has been nicely processed. Slight compression has been added, you can detect it on high frequency organ crescendos but it’s minimal with no offensive frequencies. Sound quality is quite rich and full, giving a nicely period feel. A great value package for an under-rated rock band.