Named for a trio of inmates at California’s Soledad prison who were charged with murdering a guard in retaliation for the killing of three black activists, the band further solidified its image as revolutionaries when it adopted the political White Panther Party’s logo as its own.
When the opening track, "Cage That Tiger" rolls in, you’ll swear it’s a long lost Rolling Stones track. But as the initial familiarity shock wears off, it’s easy to appreciate that even though it’s not totally original, the Brothers pull it off flawlessly and with plenty of energy.
As the disc moves ahead, the true color of the band becomes obvious in the shades of its blues.
On "Handle Song’s" Almighty-praising stomp, a whisky-soaked harmonica preaches the virtues of Southern American musical heritage as the band’s singer, Johnny Walker, belts out heavy, gospel-style vocals. But the standout track is the album closer, "Lorali," during which a Delta Blues-inspired slide guitar accompanies Walker’s haunting vocal melody about a forbidden love affair.
The blues are alive and well, and the Soledad Brothers prove that Chicago’s legacy as a blues mecca remains intact and that what it has to offer is more than just history lessons.
Voice of Treason is currently available.