Firefall - Friends & Family

by Kevin Wierzbicki

It's not unusual for a band with a lengthy career to release an album in their later days that pays tribute to the great artists and songs that they enjoyed in their earlier days. And Firefall, with five decades under their belt, have put together here a fine and generous (13 cuts) selection of covers that were originally done by friends of theirs and primarily released in the 1970s. Most of these were big hits so fans will be familiar with the song list and they will like the way Firefall does them as they stick close to the original arrangements. The guys do add their own special touches here and there, like on the album opener "Long Train Running" where saxophone from Jim Waddell brings additional funk to the earthy Doobie Brothers groove. Firefall founding member Jock Bartley handles lead vocals on many tracks and he's joined by guitarist Steven Weinmeister and bass man John Bisaha in creating sweet harmony vocals throughout, notably on tracks like the Marshall Tucker Band chestnut "Can't You See," Poco's sublime "In the Heart of the Night" and the great Rick Roberts-penned Flying Burrito Brothers track "Colorado." The Loggins & Messina track "Angry Eyes" has always had a bit of an attitude and it translates nicely in Firefall's version; so does the feeling of reverence in Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man." Also performed are a very cool take on The Band's "Chest Fever," Gram Parsons track "Ooh Las Vegas," Spirit's "I Got a Line on You," Fleetwood Mac's "World Turning," the Heart pop hit "What About Love," Dan Fogelberg's "Part of the Plan" and the Byrds hit "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better." Fans are really going to enjoy this retro set and clearly Firefall had a blast revisiting these songs; they're already planning a follow-up release. The band is rounded out by drummer Sandy Ficca. Order the album here.


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