Redbone – Message From A Drum (1971)


Redbone is a Native American rock group originating in the 1970s with brothers Pat and Lolly Vegas. Born in Coalinga, California near Fresno, brothers Patrick (bass and vocals) and Candido “Lolly” Vasquez-Vegas (guitar and vocals) moved to Los Angeles in 1969 to form the group Redbone with mere cents in their pockets due to Pat winning the first ever singing competition held by Coca-Cola. He won a recording contract and travel to create a career which he then put off to move to Los Angeles with his brother Lolly. They began playing local shows on Hollywood and Sunset Blvd, at local clubs like Gazzari’s, as well as writing and playing guitar and bass on records by Tina Turner, Sonny & Cher, James Brown, Little Richard, Elvis, and other legendary names.
The name Redbone itself is a Cajun term for a mixed-race person, the band’s members being of mixed blood ancestry. The band referenced Cajun and New Orleans culture many times in their lyrics and performing style. Patrick and Lolly Vasquez-Vegas were a mixture of Yaqui, Shoshone and Mexican heritage.
Message from a Drum is the third album by Native American rock band Redbone released in 1971. It was released in Europe under the name The Witch Queen of New Orleans with the same track list and a different cover.
There are very few groups in rock music more unique in sound and appearence like Redbone. “Message From A Drum” is their third album they released and it is I think the best of all their albums from their career. 11 songs on the record all together and not one of them would be considered a throw-away song although you do get a couple of songs thrown in (Maxsplivitz and Perico) that are only about 15 seconds in length. In both cases however it seems these short pieces are actually like brief intros for the songs that follow on the album. As is the case like their first two albums (their self titled debut “Redbone” and 2nd album “Potlatch”) all the recordings are a perfect blend of rock music and their Native-American music roots. But you also get thrown in the blend a dose of Cajun and soul as well which plays a big factor in their unique sound. Really I could list for you which are the better songs on the album but the fact is I would end up listing all the songs. That is just how strong this record is. Of course the big hit song on this album is “Witch Queen Of New Orleans”. It was their second hit song to reach the charts in their career just missing the top 20 list in early 1972.

Side one

  1. “Message from a Drum”  (Patrick Vegas) – 3:08
  2. “Niji Trance”  (R. A. Bellamy/Patrick Vegas/Lolly Vegas) – 3:27
  3. “The Sun Never Shines on the Lonely”  (Lolly Vegas) – 2:35
  4. “Maxsplivitz (instrumental)”  (Lolly Vegas) – 0:18
  5. “Emotions”  (Lolly Vegas) – 4:10
  6. “Jerico”  (Lolly Vegas/Patrick Vegas) – 3:47

Side two

  1. “The Witch Queen of New Orleans”  (Patrick Vegas/Lolly Vegas) – 2:45
  2. “When You Got Trouble”  (Patrick Vegas/Lolly Vegas) – 3:24
  3. “Perico (instrumental)”  (Lolly Vegas) – 0:18
  4. “Fate”  (Lolly Vegas) – 6:36
  5. “One Monkey”  (Lolly Vegas) – 4:09

Companies, etc.


Released: December 1971
Genre: Blues Rock
Length: 34:37

Label – Epic Records

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