Southern Rock
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Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations

 

Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore EastMarshall Tucker: Stompin' Room Only - Live

Southern Rock

AA Top Tres Hombres

 
Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations

Southern Rock 

Southern rock is a style of music termed in the 1970's. My short description of southern rock is, quality musicians blending different musical styles to form their own identity. Depending on the band, they may place their emphasis among hard rock, blues, county, bluegrass, jazz, improvisation, etc.  

When southern rock was at the height of its popularity we were heavily into collecting the records of these bands and seeing their concerts. We had the opportunity to see Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws, Dixie Dregs, The Allman Brothers Band, Marshall Tucker, Charlie Daniels Band, ZZ Top, and Molly Hatchet, Pure Prairie League, as well as many lesser known artists when they were at their peak. Many of these bands we saw perform more than once.  

Southern rock was not our favorite music of the during the 1970's, but we enjoyed it plenty. Looking back at this music historically we will summarize what we consider the best of that period.

Many of these bands had a different Southern emphasis so we provide the following generalizations if you are a newcomer.
Hard Rock - Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet
County - Marshall Tucker, The Outlaws, Charlie Daniels
Blues - The Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top, Marshall Tucker, 
    Charlie Daniels 
Virtuosity - The Dixie Dregs
Jam - The Allman Brothers Band, Marshall Tucker
Fiddle - Dixie Dregs, Charlie Daniels

Frequently The Allman Brothers Band are credited with founding Southern Rock. Really their early albums with Duane Allman are straight blues with an improvisation, jam flavor. It was after Duane Allman's death when Dickey Betts took a more dominant role in writing when they added a country tone to form more of what we consider southern rock. 

Below we list some of the better southern rock bands, which  is not intended to a complete list, but the cream of the crop. We include some suggestions to these bands best work.    

The Allman Brothers Band
Charlie Daniels Band
Dixie Dregs
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Marshall Tucker
The Outlaws
ZZ Top

Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations

Southern Rock: Gold

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Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations
If you are looking for a solid compilation of various solid Southern rock bands, Southern Rock: Gold is extremely well put together. 

Disc: 1 
1. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd 
2. Ramblin Man – The Allman Brothers Band 
3. Heard It In A Love Song – Marshall Tucker Band 
4. If You Wanna Get To Heaven – The Ozark Mountain Daredevils 
5. The South’s Gonna Do It Again – The Charlie Daniels Band 
6. Fooled Around And Fell In Love – Elvin Bishop 
7. Champagne Jam – Atlanta Rhythm Section 
8. Hold On Loosely – .38 Special 
9. Flirtin’ With Disaster – Molly Hatchet 
10. Highway Song – Blackfoot 
11. Guitar Town – Steve Earle 
12. Walk Softly On This Heart Of Mine – The Kentucky Headhunters 
13. Nothing Matters But The Fever – Sea Level 
14. Refried Funky Chicken – Dixie Dregs 
15. Mindbender – Stillwater 
16. Green Grass And High Tides – The Outlaws 
Disc: 2 
1. Keep Your Hands To Yourself – Georgia Satellites 
2. Only You Know And I Know – Delaney & Bonnie And Friends 
3. Midnight Rider – Gregg Allman 
4. Keep On Smilin’ – Wet Willie 
5. Dixie Chicken – Little Feat 
6. There Goes Another Love Song – The Outlaws 
7. Street Corner Serenade – Wet Willie 
8. Travelin’ Shoes – Elvin Bishop Elvin Bishop 
9. So Into You – Atlanta Rhythm Section 
10. Coming Home – Johnny Van Zant 
11. Don’t Misunderstand Me – Rossington Collins Band 
12. Living In A Dream – Arc Angels 
13. Please Be With Me – Cowboy 
14. Can’t You See – Marshall Tucker Band 
15. Freebird – Lynyrd Skynyrd 
16. Whipping Post – The Allman Brothers Band 
Southern Rock: Gold
Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations

Allman Brothers Band

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Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations
The Allman Brothers Band's are clearly one of the great successes in rock music. Through the years they have meshed blues, country, and rock with an emphasis on jamming to the delight of many satisfied fans. 

If you are looking for an introduction to the Allman Brothers Band, you can't go wrong with The Allman Brothers Band Gold, two discs of studio material through the 1970's and some great live tracks. 

The Allman Brothers Band are well known for their superb concert performances, and a result they have numerous live albums available. We keep track of their newest releases in a more expansive section. All three recommendations below we consider essential. Each spans a different period of their career, and offers a different guitar attack.

We have more in depth coverage of the 
Allman Brothers Band
.  

Gold
The  Fillmore Concerts

Duane Allman and Dickey Betts

First Set

Warren Haynes and Dickey Betts

Beacon DVD

Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks

Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations

Charlie Daniels Band

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Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations
Charlie Daniels' music meshes a combination of country, blues, and rock, which is topped off with inferences of bluegrass to yield a sound of its own. 

With an abundance of good music spread over so many albums we find that one of the greatest hits collections is a great way to go. There are single, double, and triple disc options.  Of them, his two disc collection seems to have the best balance of including his essential tracks without going beyond. 

Charlie Daniels title track from his 1976 album Saddle Tramp sure has inferences of the Allman Brothers. One of his better songs. My favorite though is "The south's Gonna do It Again."

Charlie Daniels on DVD, Volunteer Jam: The Volunteer Jam is the annual homecoming concert for the Charlie Daniels Band in Tennessee in a tradition that goes back over 30 years. This film features the classic CDB line-up performing at the height of their powers in 1975 and focuses primarily on material from their two quintessential albums “Fire
On The Mountain” (1974) and “Nightrider” (1975), which gave them their breakthrough hit “Texas.” The concert also features guest appearances Dickey Betts and Chuck Leavell of the Allman Brothers Band, Jimmy Hall from Wet Willie, Dru Lombar from Grinderswitch and the entire Marshall Tucker Band.
Tracks 1) Whiskey 2) Birmingham Blues 3) Long Haired Country Boy 4) No Place To Go 5) Funky Junky 6) Texas 7) South's Gonna Do It (Again) 8) Orange Blossom Special 9) Twenty-Four Hours 10) The Thrill Is Gone 11) Jelly, Jelly Blues 12) Sweet Mama 13) Mountain Dew
Bonus Features
2007 Interview with Charlie Daniels
Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations

Dixie Dregs

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Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations
Dixie Dregs is a band of enormously talented musicians. Through the years personnel did change, but it never detracted from yielding first class music.  They are led by guitarist Steve Morse who was voted best overall guitarist by guitar player five times and has won six Grammy nominations. Their instrumental music ventures into rock, fusion, bluegrass, jazz, and even classical. On occasion they even perform some classic rock covers. One performance I saw they did a stunning Led Zeppelin medley. 

If you are looking for compilation of Dixie Dregs material, they have two greatest hits releases, which do not overlap. The 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Dixie Dregs is from their first three albums, while The Best of the Dregs: Divided We Stand, covers the latter period of their career. 

The Dixie Dregs two live albums are: The  Greatest Hits Live, which is really a remastered version of previously titled King Biscuit Presents Dixie Dregs recorded 6/17/79. The second, Bring Em Back Alive, was recorded in 1992. Dixie Dregs live just buzz with energy.

Picking up both greatest hits recordings or both live albums are very good overviews of the Dixie Dregs. Though, for the ambitious music collector we favor collecting the individual albums rather than compilations. Not because the collections aren't super, but there is some good material not included, and the albums have a good flow to them. Their best studio album that we've heard is What If.  

Information about the 
Dixie Dregs / Steve Morse DVD
.

20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Dixie Dregs
The Best of the Dregs: Divided We Stand
Greatest Hits Live

Bring Em Back Alive - 1992 

What If 
Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations

Lynyrd Skynyrd

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Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations
Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the more popular Southern Rock bands. In our opinion, their lasting appeal is their great songwriting. 

We think their best studio album is Street Survivors, to the right, released just days before the crash that took the life of several band members. 

Below are three compilation albums that are single, double and triple in nature. Their three disc box set is perfect as it includes just about everything a fan could want. No question, their live album One More For the Road is warranted as a supplement.

More Lynyrd Skynyrd content. 

Lynyrd Skynyrd Box Set The Essential Lynyrd Skynyrd All Time Greatest Hits 
Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations

Marshall Tucker

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Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations
Marshall Tucker is one of my favorite Southern rock bands, and they are at their best live. Finally, in 2003 they released a live album Stompin' Room Onlythat was recorded between 1974 and 1976. We strongly recommend that album.

Beginning in November 2003, and continuing, Marshall Tucker have been reissuing their catalog with bonus tracks added on, usually live performances.  

An excellent Marshall Tucker compilation, The Marshall Tucker Anthology: the First 30 Years. Frequently with chronological anthology releases, the bands best material is on the first disc and the second disc just collects dust. While the first disc is certainly better, the second disc reveals very music strong throughout. This release generally selects a song or two from nearly all of their albums so it is a great orientation to their music. 

Some additional Tucker resources.
Our Marshall Tucker page

Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations

The Outlaws

Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations
The Outlaws trademark is a blend of country and rock with a strong three guitar attack. While Lynyrd Skynyrd had one lead singer, The Outlaws had several members that would contribute lead vocal duties. Another trademark is their vocal blending and harmonies, sort of in the style of the Eagles.

The Outlaws have a superb compilation called The Best of the Outlaws: Green Grass and High Tides. This includes all the music most fans seek in an Outlaws collection. The liner notes provide credits, band history, and photos.  Perhaps some fans may want to supplement this with live versions of the songs, Though their live album Bring It Back Alive is not the original  band.

Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations

ZZ Top

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Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations
I saw ZZ Top in concert and what struck me was the amount of power and energy that blasted out of the sound system from this three piece band from Texas. You'd think they would need a five or six members to generate that amount of musical force!

Personally, we do not care much for ZZ Top's music as a whole after 1975's Fandango, which is one side live and one side studio. The album that preceded it, Tres Hombres, is their best album, in our opinion. 

ZZ Top have several compilations and even offer six of their early albums packaged together at a discount -- that is to be avoided due to poor remixing. 

Finally starting in 2003 some of ZZ Top's early material was re-issued with good mixes. This begin with their box-set and that was followed by a two disc compilation, Rancho Texicano: The Very Best of ZZ Top. They're both good depending on if you want to super-size or not. 

In 2006 re-mastered versions of Tres Hombres and Fandango with bonus tracks were released. They could have done better with the bonus material.

Other: ZZ Top's Greatest Hits - This 18 track collection emphasizes both their classic early days, MTV, and beyond. 

Rancho Texicano: The Very Best of ZZ Top
Chrome, Smoke & BBQ: The ZZ Top Box - Box Set 
Tres Hombres One Foot In The Blues Fandango
Southern Rock Album Reviews and recommendations

 

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