A couple of issues back, I reviewed re-releases of these two albums that I said were long overdue for a number of reasons. I also complained about the poor packaging. Well, that’s been taken care of, along with better sound quality.
These releases, sanctioned by the band, restore the packaging and lyric sheets in a nice package. A good listen will also show a very nice clear quality that one-ups the somewhat dull sound of the release this summer by Collector’s Choice Music.
I won’t repeat everything I said then about the music. Suffice it to say, Russell Smith was writing great songs and singing great, and guitarist Barry “Byrd” Burton was everything you’d want in a guitarist. Whether it was a blues, a swing tune, straight country, or a burnin’ rocker, his playing always elevated the song. Put that together with a killer rhythm section, and you’ve got two of the best albums of the ’70s. Highly recommended, but make sure for the complete package to go with the Valley Entertainment releases.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Feb. ’01 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.