Band members Related acts
- Steve Long -- guitar (1969-79)
- Lindsey Minter -- drums (1969-79)
- Paul Minter -- bass (1969-79)
- Ray Pawlik -- vocals, guitar (1969-79)
- Richard 'Dicky' Sony -- vocals (1969-79)
- none known
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Country/State: Houston, Texas
Comments: promo sticker on cover; still in shrink wrap; white inner label
Catalog ID: 4140
I found this one at a flea market and initially picked it up for the striking cover (how many times do you see a close-up of a warthog?). The fact that it cost a dollar and featured Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagen arranging much of the LP, playing on a couple of tracks, as well as contributed one selection ('Canyon Ladies') made for an offer I couldn't refuse.
In spite of the Steely Dan connection, there's precious little biographical info to be found about this outfit. From the liner notes I know the band line up consisted of guitarists Steve Long and Ray Pawlik, drummer Lindsey Minter, bass player Paul Minter. He's not listed anywhere, but the singer was Dicky Sony (see the email below). Formed in 1969, they were apparently from Texas (I assume they lifted their name from the Texas City). By 1972 they'd attracted the attention of ABC-Dunhill Records which signed them to a contract. Recorded at Los Angeles' Village Recorders with Dennis Collin and Gary Kannon producing, most of 1972's "Rootin'" was best described as bluesy-rock. Powered by Sony's growling vocals, group-penned tracks such as 'Western Boots', '$2 Bill' and 'That's How It Is (Playin' In a Rock & Roll Band)' were tight and fairly commercial, though they didn't exhibit a great deal of originality. Far less impressive were the bands' stabs at country-rock. Complete with pedal steel and whistling solo, 'Ballad of a Young Man' was outright embarrassing. As for the Fagen-Becker number, well it was okay though the lyrics were largely indecipherable. This one album appears to be Navasota's entire catalog. Baxter went on to a stint with The Doobie Brothers before continuing his collaboration with Becker and Fagen in Steely Dan. ABC tapped the LP for a single in the form of 'That's How It Is (Playin' In a Rock & Roll Band)' b/w 'P. Farm' (ABC catalog number ABC-11332). Wonder if the band were aware that the single also saw a Japanese picture sleeve release ...
Probe catalog number IPR10182
"Rootin'" track listing:
1.) Western Boots (Richard Sony - Lindsey Minter - G. Minter - Ray Pawlick - Steve Long) - 2:46
2.) $2 Bill (Richard Sony - Lindsey Minter - G. Minter - Ray Pawlick - Steve Long) - 2:20
3.) Ballad of a Young Man (Richard Sony - Lindsey Minter - G. Minter - Ray Pawlick - Steve Long) - 3:30
4.) That's How It Is (Playin' In a Rock & Roll Band) (Richard Sony - Lindsey Minter - G. Minter - Ray Pawlick - Steve Long) - 4:17
5.) Canyon Ladies (Donald Fagen - Walter Becker) - 4:01
1.) Old Slew Foot (H. Hausey) - 2:56
2.) I'm Leavin' (C. Burnett) - 3:28
3.) P. Farm (Richard Sony - Lindsey Minter - G. Minter - Ray Pawlick - Steve Long) - 3:42
4.) Heat of the Night (Richard Sony - Lindsey Minter - G. Minter - Ray Pawlick - Steve Long) - 3:40
5.) Spring Creek (Richard Sony - Lindsey Minter - G. Minter - Ray Pawlick - Steve Long) - 3:25
ABC-Dunhill sent the band out on the road where they were teamed with the likes of Boston and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but sales didn't amount to much outside of their Texas fan base. ABC subsequently dropped the band, though they seem to have stuck it out through the late 1970s.
Drummer Minter recently revived the band nameplate - 'Navasota-Rios'.
Luckily the power of the internet recently revealed itself again - witness the following email:
"Your information on Navasota is incorrect, evidently only what you could garner from the album sleeve [well yeah, that's what I said in the original review]. Jeff was not a member, he was only involved during the recording of the album as well as Donald Fagan. The main member (singer, songwriter, and quite the showman) Dicky Sony is not even mentioned. They were known for their live acts most of all and were very popular in the seventies, receiving a lot of air play ('Heat of the Night') on KLOL Houston during the "Crash" days. (Popular DJ at that time) They were on their way, but like a lot of bands during that time, drugs and alcohol took their toll. Not trying to bust your chops, just wanted to give you some of the skinny on what was really a great band during their time.
There's also an interesting YouTube video montage out there with a non-LP song 'Wolfman Loup Garu':
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