Sail with Blackfoot Live in Concert for 4 Nights to the Bahamas on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the SeasSM
Blackfoot was formed in Jacksonville, Florida in the Fall of 1969 by childhood friends Greg T. Walker (bass and vocals), Rickey Medlocke (lead vocals and percussion), Jakson Spires (drums and vocals), DeWitt Gibbs (keyboards and vocals), and Charlie Hargrett (lead guitar). Originally called “Hammer,” they played their first major concert performance at the Miami International Rock Festival in December 1969.
In March 1970 they re-named the band “Blackfoot” (contrary to legend, the name was suggested by drummer Spires) and moved to New York City and then New Jersey. DeWitt soon left the band, and Rickey began playing guitar full-time. They stayed in New Jersey, playing mostly college gigs until June 1971 when Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie VanZant called looking for a drummer. Rickey answered the phone and accepted the gig. Shortly thereafter, Greg T. Walker joined Rickey in Skynyrd, and Blackfoot disbanded for a while.
The original Blackfoot line-up reformed in the Spring of 1973 and moved back to New Jersey. They spent the next 10 years touring the world with top rock acts of the day and recording the albums “No Reservations” (Island 1975); “Flying High” (Epic 1976); “Strikes” (Atco 1979) which produced the Grammy nominated “Train, Train” and rock anthem”Highway Song”; “Tomcattin” (Atco 1980); “Marauder” (Atco 1981) which contained the radio hit “Fly Away”; “Highway Song Live” (Atco 1982); and “Siogo” which spawned the hit “Teenage Idol”which was also used by the NFL (Atco 1983). Keyboardist/vocalist Ken Hensley from Uriah Heep joined in 1982 and performed on the “Siogo” and “Vertical Smiles” (1984) albums. Charlie Hargrett left the band in 1984 during the recording of “Vertical Smiles.” Ken Hensley left the band mid-tour and was replaced by old friend, AXE lead guitarist/frontman Bobby Barth. From mid-1984 until December 1985, Barth toured and recorded with Blackfoot, though Walker and Spires had left by the end of the year.
Rickey kept the band going under the moniker “Rickey Medlocke and Blackfoot” with different line-ups until 1996. Medlocke then re-joined Skynryd, replacing guitarist Mike Estes. By mid-2004 there was considerable demand for a Blackfoot reunion. Greg T. called Jakson, Charlie and Bobby, and arrangements were made for Blackfoot’s reformation.
Tragically, Jakson Spires passed away on March 16th, 2005. Each member of Blackfoot had previously agreed to continue should one of them become ill or unavailable. They picked Jak’s friend Christoph Ullman from Austria to step in for him. This line-up continued for a year until Bobby became ill and was sidelined from the road for a few months to recover. During that time, Jay Johnson, son of famed Muscle Shoals producer Jimmy Johnson, took over for Barth. Jay did a stellar job and remained aboard until Barth recovered. In the Spring of 2010, Barth needed emergency back surgery. (Bobby is progressing well and expected to make a full recovery.)
This time Greg and Charlie called aforementioned former Skynyrd guitarist/vocalist Mike Estes who, along with new drummer Kurt Pietro, was an old friend and had played with them on various all-star gigs all over the USA. This line-up is currently gigging and tearing it up!
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