*** Reviewed by great fellow Adamus67 ***In early 1969 Lincoln St. Exit, Mike Martinez, Mac Suazo, RC Gariss and Lee Herrerra recorded in Clovis New Mexico at the Norman Petty Studios and the song "Soulful Drufter" emerged from the "Drive It" Album. The album was distributed by Mainstream Records.
Groups like Janis Joplin (Pre Columbia Records) and Amboy Dukes (Ted Nugent’s group) recorded for the label at the same time. Soulful Drifter gained radio station play and Exit had a hit record along the Great Lakes Area. The airplay was enough to catch the ear of Motown records in Detroit.
At that time Motown was looking to increase it’s catalog of new artists on their new Rare Earth label and Exit filled the need. Motown liked the group, a new sound, a new look and a new direction was needed. So the idea was that they would return to their roots and create. A new sound in music was born “American Indian Rock”. Under the management of Tom Bee the new sound emerged and the new Xit name was born. The acronym was XIT for Xing of Indian Tribes came about because of some of the group’s ethnic background.
The first album for Motown was “Plight of the Redman” released in 1971. It’s a history lesson from the beginning to end sung by member Mike Martinez and tells the story from the beginning of peace in the New World to their struggles with the white man in America and finally to the climatic end of the narrative speech by Mac Suazo.
The album garnered critical acclaim and grammy consideration. It is still for sale.The album has withstood the test of time. Their second album on Motown was “Silent Warrior”.
XIT played many venues including the Whiskey A Go-Go in Hollywood and in 1972 the 8th International Music Festival in Venice Italy. This festival was broadcasted to over 30 million people throughout Europe, along with countless concerts in cities and reservations across the United States and Canada.
Thank you so much Adam for that effort
A unique one for sure. The points of reference for this album involve, various far-reaching elements; none of which individually sum up their style. The Folk Rock elements (acoustic guitar, pedal steel, etc) remind a bit of The Byrds, while the Heavy Rock elements (electric fuzz guitar, bass, rock vocals) aren’t far from their label mates Toe Fat (that is to say; your average early 70s Heavy Rock).
But then there is the ‘native’ rhythm section (tribal drumming), the sporadic native tongue lyrics mixed with the hip American lingo of the day, the spoken word polemics (describing the condition of modern natives), and the string section on the ‘pretty’ tunes (A1, A4) and empowerment anthems (B2, B3, B4).
For instance; the final three songs are a suite that references the Trail of Tears and reservations as ghettos, so throw wind sound effects, babies crying, harpsichord, piano, and other things into the mix. For that matter the first two songs seem to be from the same ‘jam’ as the last three; so only the middle three (A3, A4, B1) are ‘standalone’ tunes (and the rocking ones at that).
What credentials this group had for a ‘native’ concept album, or how they ended up on Motown’s Rock label; I couldn’t say. Is this a retro reference point for more recent artists like, Polyphonic Spree, USA Is a Monster or Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice? I think so. /sambson RYM/
XIT was originally based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Members include founder and Native American Music Award winner Tom Bee, (writer of lyrics on Plight of the Redman). The original group were A. Michael Martinez (singer and lead guitar on Plight), Mac Suazo (narrator and bass on Plight), Lee Herrerra (drums on Plight), and R. C. Garriss (2nd lead guitar on Plight).
"XIT" stands for "crossing of Indian Tribes", according to Tom Bee. Their music often addresses themes of historic and contemporary Native American issues. Their initial recording, 1972's Plight of the Redman, is a concept album about the changes in Native American life since the arrival of Columbus.
XIT "Someday" - Plight Of The Redman - 1972
A2. At Peace
A3. I Was Raised
A4. I Am Happy About You ( Nihaa Shil Hozho)
B1. The Coming Of The Whiteman
B2. War Cry
XIT featuring Tom Bee:
A. Michael Martin - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jomac Suazo - Bass Guitar, Narration
Leeja Herrera - Drums, Percussion
R.C. Gariss Jr. - Lead Guitar, Piano
Tom Bee - Lyric, Concept, Music Consultant and Remix
[Rip and Scans by gigic2255]
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