San Francisco rock journalist, Ralph Gleason?s effulvent liner notes on this Sacramento band?s debut album compare their live performances to The Band, but the music within is closer to label mates Creedence Clearwater Revival (it was produced by their engineer, Russ Gary). The relatively unknown band released five albums in the early 70s, but failed to connect with audiences outside of California and eventually disbanded. Their sound is predominantly bluesy funk with the occasional tastefully executed guitar solo (?Please Doctor Please? is a highlight). Gary?s production is typically economical if not a little bottom heavy. ?Dark Thursday,? the flip of their lone single, has an agreeable, laidback countrified Grateful Dead/New Riders vibe, and ?Sweetwalkin? Lady? is a big, fat hunk of chunky funk, with a mean country backbone that sounds like New Jersey?s Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, whose debut was also released in 1971.
It seems like every country rock band found a way to incorporate ?Bo Diddley?/?Willie & The Hand Jive? into their repertoire, and ?I?m Your Lover Man? is Redwing?s stab at this standard bar band riff. ?Hogtied? is a rollin? and tumblin? shuffle showcasing guitarist, Arthur Samuels? nimble-fingered fretwork, and will surely appeal to Canned Heat fans. There?s also a nice, down-home, Band-like Americana to the bouncy ?Oh Maggie (Don?t Lift The Weight),? whose title is a dead giveaway to its inspiration, while ?(Tell Me Baby) Why You Been Gone So Long? is one of the best CCR copies I?ve heard. Weak vocals and the lack of a hit single (the punchy ?California Blues? tries hard, but comes up a few good hooks too short) hurt the album?s appeal, but fans of hard-edged countrified bar bands and pub rockers from Dr. Hook and Eggs Over Easy to Brimsley Schwarz and Ducks Deluxe may enjoy it, nonetheless. 7/10 -- Jeff Penczak (19 February, 2008)