Always distrust men who bang on about how manly they are all the time.  Well, apart from me, obviously.  I am really manly.  Totally manly.  Do-my-own-stitches-whilst-wearing-a-loincloth manly, in fact.  You want a bear wrassling? call me.  You want a guy who can drink moonshine for 9 hours straight before working a shift down at the steel mill? over here!  It’s a good job for a sizable portion of the women of the world that I don’t consider kissing and telling manly.  Oh yeah.

Blackfoot Tomcattin 07

Steely-eyed hunk of beef that I am, the envy of men and the idol of women, I had been lulled into thinking that I was the pinnacle of all manlinessosity but I was humbled in November 2014 when I liberated three Blackfoot LPs amidst the spoils of a successful raid on a neighbouring tribe of barbarians, to keep my copy of Marauder company.  I thought I was a man, but I was nothing but a stripling boy.  Here were men.  Men who worked hard*, played hard and sang it like they meant it, smashing any doubters over head with handy implements and instruments until they gave in and cravenly admitted the band’s utter primo manliness.

Manly me
Manly me

Tomcattin’ has become a firm favourite of mine in a certain mood**, it doesn’t quite have the songs and subtleties of Strikes, or Marauder, but there really is something awe-inspiring about just how effective a blunt instrument can be if wielded right.

Blackfoot Tomcattin 03

Before anyone invented thrash and doom (properly) Blackfoot were always the heaviest of the southern rock contenders, there was more metal in their heavy and I also liked the way that they avoided the temptation to use every track to cheer lead for the south.  True to form Tomcattin’ explodes right of the gate with ‘Warped’, it’s a bludgeoning rocker that has plenty of attack, possibly at the expense of tune, but hey no-one tells Rick ‘Rattlesnake’ Medlocke what to do!  Then the quality immediately cranks up when the mean, strutting, slinky riff of ‘On The Run’ slithers out of the speakers – this is just such a great hunk of sweaty rock, with a cool compressed backing vocal too – real chest-beating perfection.  The kind of music that makes you feel like you’re wearing nothing except a pair of backless chaps, work boots and a bandolier … or is that just me again? oops.

Blackfoot Tomcattin 05

A couple of more average tunes boogie on by before ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’ ignites things again.  I would stress that this is, sadly, not an ABBA cover – Blackfoot do not require, desire, or (have reason to) acquire a man after midnight.  True story.  Again, this is a great two-fisted party starter.  A song of the honest working man’s frustration at everything holding him back*^ (‘Gimme, Gimme, Gimme that’s all I ever hear / Ain’t got no money to buy me a beer’) which, as a suit-wearing desk jockey I can completely relate to.

Blackfoot Tomcattin 04

Tomcattin’ rises to new heights of masculinity with the track ‘In The Night’  which begins with Rick Medlocke making a low, keening moan which one can only assume is his, undoubtedly successful, mating call; there are whole bands’ discographies, heck even whole genres that never get as unaffectedly manly as this.  Witness:

Whoa milk and honey
She can have some other lovin’ too
Well I singe the sheets to a rock’n’ roll beat
Oh that turn a rock star blue

I suspect that this is one of them sex songs that I’ve read about.  It’s also quite excellent, some wonderful slow-burning guitar, choppy rhythms and harmonica^, it has the feel of prime Bad Company, which is never a bad thing.

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Tomcattin’ closes with the hobo yarn of ‘Spendin’ Cabbage’ and the rural metaphor-fest of ‘Fox Chase’ and all-in-all it is a good LP, rising to excellent on occasion, but somehow as a set it definitely rises to become more than the sum of its’ (manly) parts.  Hell, things were good and simple way back in 1980.

You are now 23.27% more manly than when you began reading this post.

Blackfoot Tomcattin 01

635 Down.

Post Post Rant: This bloody LP cover appears to have been fashioned out of pure Shinium, the shiniest element in the universe! I’ve done my best people, I really have!

PS: Thanks to HMO, without his generosity I wouldn’t own this beast of an LP.

PPS – Is it just me or is Spotify not embedding properly at the moment for some reason?


*probably using pick axes and other manly accoutrements.

**Just another manly Monday …

*^his woman and a businessman, both = bad news.

^provided by Shorty Medlocke, Rick’s grandpappy and frequent Blackfoot collaborator.

32 thoughts on “Here Were Men

  1. Thanks to your sexy new theme, I spotted this post that I’d somehow missed!

    Glad you liked this one. I didn’t think it was quite as good as the two either side but over the years it’s grown on me. Possibly my favourite of theirs now.

    And cause I’m already 110% manly the extra manliness threw me in to a Slaine-style berserker rage. So thanks for that.

    1. Whoa! Slaine! I hadn’t thought about him in decades!

      I’ve not heard the last HOF one, I was going to buy it and just thought that I knew it would be very good but when would I ever get around to listening to it, so I put it back.

      Dangerous line of thinking for a collector, that.

      1. HOF? Is that High on Fire? I was talking about Blackfoot Tomcattin!

        I can see how you maybe got to High on Fire via Slaine and manliness though! I’ve still not bought their last album either. I don’t listen to them nearly enough to need more of their albums.

        Do what I do. Stop thinking of yourself as a collector and see yourself as a discerning, dashing man of taste.

      2. Arse! That’ll teach me to give my posts more obvious titles!

        I guess I just failed my 1537 A-level. (Trudges off in shame).

        Some oddball sidled up to me once, pressed a load of Blackfoot records into my hand and slunk off; I always assumed they were stolen.

  2. Ah yes, ‘Tomcattin”. I remember this album well, as it was played at high volumes on my parents stereo system when I was growing up. I recall “Fox Chase” pretty well, as well as “Gimme Gimme Gimme”. I think ‘Strikes’ was played more by my brother and I than ‘Tomcattin’, but I digress.

    As a kid I dug these guys, but by the time I was in my teens I lost my fervor for the southern delicacy known as southern rock. Though out of all the Dixie-fried rock and roll these Medlocke had the most edge and was much closer to hard rock/ metal than say his hillbilly brethren in Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, and Molly Hatchet. Medlocke was a pretty damn good guitar player, too.

    1. My dad saw him do a blues set in a tiny club about 5/6 years ago and said he was brilliant.

      I think its time your Southern rock persona rose again, but you need a good ‘bit’ in the middle of you name. In honour of your recent ailment, can I christen you J ‘Diamond Back’ Hubner?

  3. I’ve often been tempted to pick this up. Purely cause of the cover (not to melt it down and sell the shinium, but cause there’s something mundo awesomento about it). Now I’m inclined to hand over some of those well earned cashpennies in exchange for some of this manliness enhancing awesomeness.

    P.S. does reading this twice result in a manliness multiplier effect?

  4. How very manly of them to use pink lettering on the album.
    Also, my voice started cracking this morning…thanks alot, Blackfoot, for making me even more manly; I didn’t need your help!

  5. Back in late 1981 my buddy Muc’s older sister dated a guy at the time who was going to Boston College and while,he was there attending school he seen Blackfoot. The opening act that night was Def Leppard!
    Muc scored both a High N Dry and BlackFoot Tour Tee….
    I can honestly say he was the only guy in Tbay to have a Blackfoot Tour Tee! Haha….
    That pic of them looks like they beat the tar out of anyone….
    Nice score with the rock this week at 1537 HQ’s!
    Great review!

    1. A Blackfoot tour tee, surely you’d have to cut the arms off it to make it look even manlier?

      Yup – it’s definitely Manly Monday here today.

      They look like they’d beat the tar out of anyone, seduce their woman, drink whiskey ’til dawn and then go work a double shift at the lumber mill.

      I do love me some Blackfoot!

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