Album by Firefall Features Friends & Family
Firefall’s “You Are the Woman” top-10 hit was ubiquitous in 1976 when I was a senior in high school. I’m wondering if one of my parents’ cars had only an AM radio back then because I heard it A LOT and I was listening to FM by that point. Maybe it was just everywhere the way hits are.
The band had a few other hits, such as “Strange Way” and “Just Remember I Love You.” Pleasant songs, but not exactly in what was my then-rocking wheelhouse. When their songs occasionally crop up in my field of hearing (is that a thing?) there’s a certain nostalgic appeal to them.
Like a lot of legacy rock acts Firefall has carried on, regularly touring and releasing albums. They recently released a new album, Friends & Family, 13 cover versions of songs from bands who shared bills with Firefall and musicians whose histories are intertwined with the group. The tracks represent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, country rock pioneers, Southern rock superstars and Top 40 hit-makers.
Friends & Family is a tribute to the great music of the 70s, said Firefall’s remaining founding member, guitarist Jock Bartley.
Now these songs are in my wheelhouse.
There are a couple of songs I didn’t know, like the Flying Burrito Brothers’ “Colorado,” and Gram Parsons’ “Ohh Las Vegas,” which happen to be the last two songs on the album.
The other 11 songs are familiar favorites, like Dan Fogelberg’s “Part of the Plan,” the Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” Lynyrd Skynrd’s “Simple Man” and Spirit’s “I Got A Line On You.”
Firefall brings changes to the songs, bringing new life to the tunes so they aren’t note-for-note cover versions. On the Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Runnin’,” the harmonica solo is replaced by a guitar. On the other hand, Firefall’s version of “Can’t You See” retains the flute that made the Marshall Tucker Band’s song so distinctive but trims the guitar solos.
“I think this might be some of the best stuff I’ve ever been involved with,” Bartley said. “The songs, the lyrics and our performance of them really shine through.”
1. Long Train Running (The Doobie Brothers)
2. Part of the Plan (Dan Fogelberg)
3. What About Love (Heart)
4. Can’t You See (Marshall Tucker Band)
5. In The Heart Of The Night (Poco)
6. Angry Eyes (Loggins and Messina)
7. Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
8. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better (Byrds)
9. World Turning (Fleetwood Mac)
10. I Got A Line On You (Spirit)
11. Chest Fever (The Band)
12. Colorado (Flying Burrito Brothers)
13. Ooh Las Vegas (Gram Parsons)
For more information about Firefall or to purchase Friends & Family, visit the Firefall website.