MORE SOUTHERN GOODNESS
From page 7 of Classic Rock Magazine September 2008
Fabulous issue — take a bow. When I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd on the front cover of the magazine, as it sat on the shelf at the newsagents, I didn't even bother flipping through it I knew it would be good, and I wanted it. I've been a huge fan of southern rock ever since I lived in the US for a few years in the late 705.
Having been weaned on glitter rock in my musically formative years, it was a revelation to me when I arrived in the US to hear the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot blasting from the local FM rock stations.
This was real music, made by some pretty scary-looking dudes. This was not Marc Bolan, Gary Glitter or Noddy Holder wobbling on high heels and wearing - Mascara! And these guys could really play — hell, most of them had been playing their instruments since they were kids, growing up listening to their grandpappy picking on the guitar on the front porch.
So I started collecting all the southern rock I could find, and in my search my musical appreciation widened to encompass different facets of the genre, from country (Amazing Rhythm Aces, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Outlaws, Charlie Daniels), to pop (Atlanta Rhythm Section, 38 Special, Wet Willie), to rock (Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, ZZ Top, etc).
Sadly, southern rock seemed to decline by the early 80s, although some groups bravely soldiered on in the years since. And surprisingly strands of the genre resurfaced in the hair metal scene of the mid to late 805. You can hear for yourself the southern rock influence in Cinderella's Heartbreak Station (1990), and the greatly underrated Tangiers' Four Winds album (1989) — their tune Fever For Gold would not sound out of place on a Blackfoot album.
Neither would Warrant's Uncle Tom's Cabin from their Cherry Pie album. ('heck out Cajun Paraher on Little Ceasar's 1990 debut, White Trash Queen on Circus of Power's 1988 debut, or the amazing chainsaw solo on Jackyl's The Lumberjack.
Even Bad Company, a group who in their earlier incarnation as Free were a profound influence on southern rock groups like Lynyrd Skynyd and Blackfoot, dabbled in southern rock on their wonderful but criminally ignored return to form on 1995's Company Of Strangers. Southern rock aficionados are recommended to search this album out.
Thanks again for a great issue — you've made an old man very happy.
Jeremy Palmer, Paris, Fran ce
Compliments on the southern rock issue.
I had completely forgotten about the mighty Raging Slab. Still, I couldn't help noticing an absence of 80s songs. So, for anyone who cares to check it out, five additional southern classics from that slightly barren decade: Lee Clayton — Saturday Night Special (1979), Jason And "I lie Scorchers — White Lies (1985), Kristi Rose And The Midnight Walkers Ali t Believe (1986), Beat Farmers — Riverside (1986), Omar And The Howlers —Hard Times In The Land of Plenty (1987).
Mark van den Tempel, Haarlem, Netherlands