Savage Roads

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rickey Medlocke: Blackfoot, Skynyrd And Beyond

Rickey Medlocke (born February 17, 1950) is an American musician best known as the frontman/guitarist for the southern rock band Blackfoot. During his career he's also played with Lynyrd Skynyrd as a drummer (1970-71) before rejoining as a guitarist in 1996 where he continues to tour and record.

Being of Blackfoot ancestry, Medlocke was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame in 2008.

Early life:

Rickey Medlocke was born on February 17, 1950, in Jacksonville, Florida. He was raised by his paternal grandparents. His grandfather, Shorty Medlocke, was a well-known Delta blues musician and taught his grandson to play a miniature banjo. Medlocke started performing onstage at age three, and his musical abilities increased over the years. He began teaching himself to play the guitar by age five and was playing drums in Shorty's band at age eight. Over the next several years Medlocke mastered the banjo, guitar, drums, mandolin, dobro and keyboards. He had a melodic singing voice and had taught himself to sing and play guitar at the same time. After graduating high school, Medlocke formed his first band, Blackfoot, where he was lead vocalist and lead guitarist.


Medlocke wrote and recorded shortly with the 70's era Lynyrd Skynyrd band occasionally playing drums or singing lead on a few songs for them in 1970: "One More Time", "Preacher's Daughter", "Lend a Helpin' Hand", "Wino", "White Dove", "Comin' Home", "The Seasons", "Ain't Too Proud to Pray" and You Run Around. On occasion, Medlocke played alongside the band's original drummer Bob Burns but came to desire the energy of a guitarist at the front of the stage. This resulted in his 1971 decision to reform Blackfoot. The band began touring and producing hit songs that included "Train Train", which was written by his grandfather, and "Highway Song", written by Rickey Medlocke and Blackfoot drummer Jackson Spires, amongst songs written by others. He disbanded the group in the early 1990s.

For a while in the 1990s, Medlocke thought about pursuing other careers until he received a phone call in 1996 from Gary Rossington inviting him to rejoin Lynyrd Skynyrd as a lead guitarist and primary songwriter. Rossington asked Medlocke if he remembered how to play "Free Bird", "Tuesday's Gone", and "Workin' For MCA", among others. Medlocke rejoined Skynyrd and has been a member since. Occasionally, Medlocke will step away from Skynyrd briefly to join musicians like Shooter Jennings on stage. He joined American Idol finalist Bo Bice on stage for a rendition of "Sweet Home Alabama" when the top three finalists from season four returned home.


With Blackfoot

No Reservations (1975)
Flyin' High (1976)
Strikes (1979)
Tomcattin (1980)
Marauder (1981)
Highway Song Live (1982)
Siogo (1983)
Vertical Smiles (1984)
Rick Medlocke And Blackfoot (1987)
Medicine Man (1990)
After the Reign (1994)
Live On The King Biscuit Flower Hour (1999)

With Lynyrd Skynyrd

Street Survivors (1977) (drums & chorus on One More Time recorded during 1971-1972)
Skynyrd's First and... Last (1978) (contains early recordings from 1971 and 1972)
Skynyrd's First - The Complete Muscle Shoals Album (1996) (contains early recordings from 1971 and 1972)
Twenty (1997)
Lyve from Steel Town (1998)
Edge of Forever (1999)
Christmas Time Again (2000)
Vicious Cycle (2003)
Lynyrd Skynyrd Lyve: The Vicious Cycle Tour (2003)
God & Guns (2010)
Last of a Dyin' Breed (2012)

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