Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Album: One More For The Fans
Label: Loud and Proud
Release Date: 07/24/2015
Lynyrd Skynyrd exploded in Atlanta’s Fox Theatre in 1976 – the three shows distilled into One More From The Road, a legendary live rock album by any standard. But by Skynyrd’s standard, it simply kicked Southern rock n’ roll ass. One year later, one-of-a-kind writer/singer Ronnie Van Zant perished in a plane crash. Van Zant’s brother Johnny now leads the band with key original members Gary Rossington and Rickey Medlocke on guitars. Returning to the Fox all these years later, they plow through the finale of this splendid tribute with surprisingly powerful swamp and swagger.
Much of today’s mainstream country owes a huge debt to Lynyrd Skynyrd, heard right off in Randy Houser’s potent take on “Whiskey Rock-a-Roller.” Aaron Lewis, Trace Adkins, and even Alabama stand tall as well. Currently smokin’ Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke lay into “Workin’ for MCA” with incredible gusto, and when John Hiatt, backed by .moe, get inside “The Ballad of Curtis Loew,” they set down a new highlight in Hiatt’s career. Ronnie Van Zant wrote perhaps the most impactful illustration of a “Simple Man,” and the most between-the-eyes anti-drug song in “That Smell.”
In the hands and voice of Warren Haynes, each song (the former with Gov’t Mule and the latter with the evening’s excellent house band) retains the sentiment but shines with new lustre, certainly not a wonder given Haynes’ penchant for excellence. And just before Skynyrd wraps it up, Haynes’ former bandmate, Gregg Allman, takes the stage for a Southern-soulful glide through “Tuesday’s Gone,” his unique whiskey timbre is perfect for the song. Given this, and the similar show he produced for Allman, musical director and bassist Don Was is more than welcome to start a trend… if he hasn’t already.
– Tom Clarke