Monday, March 13, 2006

Drive-By Truckers/Skynrd/Allman Brothers/Levon Helm Blogging

So the long title will leave no doubt in your mind that this post will be another foray into my belief in "southern" music. I posted on this a few weeks ago with my Regionalism post and the subject was brought to my attention by Nick's love for Lynrd Skynrd.

I will start off by making two statements:
1)The Allman Brothers are THE band when it comes to southern rock.
2)I am not a fan of Lynrd Skynrd.

The first I will explain by saying that they were the most talented of all the bands who are labelled as "southern rock". Not only that but they infuse more of southern tradition in musical terms into their music than most of the other bands commonly known as "southern rock". It is not uncommon to hear elements of rock and roll, jazz, funk, blues, soul, and country in their music. In addition the Almman Brothers were known for their originality. Not only did they combine all of these different styles they also were one of the first jam bands.

The second I can only explain by saying that I just never really got into Skynrd. The three songs most usually associated with them never really impressed me that much. I can't stand "Sweet Home Alabama" for the fact that its thepersonal anthem for so many of that state's rednecks. Not only that but I think "Southern Man" is a better song. I also don't like how its such a cliche to like this song. I can't really explain why I don't like "Simple Man". I think its just because I don't really identify with the song at all. It isn't that it is a bad song, it just never drew me in or made me feel anything for it. I also hated the beer commercials a few years ago that used this song. As for "Freebird"- well I like the song. I mean I'm never going to select it or anything like that on itunes, but if its on the radio I will enjoy listening to it. Really my only problem with the song is that the guitar solo that everybody goes crazy over isn't that exceptional. I mean- I couldn't do it and its enjoyable- but mainstream listeners give such credit to that "guitar powerhouse song" but completely ignore the incredible mastery of the Allman Brothers on songs like "Mountain Jam". And I know "Freebird" is supposed to be powerful- and it is. But so are songs like "Sweet Melissa". I guess its just personal opinion but I never really got into Skynrd nor understood their huge following. Yeah- their good, but they aren't as good as many southerners make them out to be.

I have more to say tomorrow, including why one of the best southern bands was actually Canadian.


Blogger Nick said...

Actually, if I'm not mistaken, Steve Gaines and Allan Collins from Lynyrd Skynryd wrote "Freebird" before Gaines was killed in the plane crash.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous schmed said...

Free Bird was their big thing way back to before their debut album "Pronounced..." came out in '73, but it quickly got overplayed (like LZ's "Stairway..."). Don't overlook "Mississippi Kid" and "Tuesday's Gone" offa that'n, nor "I Need You" offa Second Helping. After that, things got contrived.

The Allmans were just talented enough to get past the jellyhead jam plateau, but you're otherwise right on the money. Dig "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Whipping Post" off of their Fillmore East album too.

3:24 PM  

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