12 June 2015
In early 1970 in Albuquerque, New Mexico based "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 Drifter" emerged from the "Drive It!" album (Mainstream Records S/6126, 1970).
"Soulful Drifter" gained radio station play and "Lincoln St. 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 Records was looking to increase it's catalog of new artists on their new "Rare Earth" label and "Lincoln St. 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 1972 (Rare Earth Records R-536L, US 1972) is a concept album about the changes in Native American life since the arrival of Columbus. 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. The album has withstood the test of time. Their second album on Motown was "Silent Warrior" in 1973 (Rare Earth Records R-545L, US 1973).
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.
Though released after their two Rare Earth LP's, Entrance album (Canyon Records 7114, US 1974) is actually the earlier recording.
It's a comp of various non-LP singles and other unreleased material they had recorded under their previous incarnation as "The Lincoln St. Exit", circa 1967-71.
Highpoints include "Orange Benevolence" and their 45 a frantic 60s Garage / Psychedelic "Sunny Sunday Dream" (Ecco Records ER-1001, US 1967).