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LYNYRD SKYNYRD – “GOD & GUNS” IS ALREADY A SOUTHERN ROCK CLASSIC

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's southern rock music, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's southern rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's rock bands, 1980's southern rock, 1990's classic rock music, 1990's southern rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, cool album covers, current rock albums 2009, essential rock albums, essential southern rock albums, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock music, Music, old school southern rock music, rock & roll, rock album review, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock music, southern hard rock, southern hard rock albums, southern rock, southern rock albums, southern rock music, southern rock music legends with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Lynyrd Skynyrd "God & Guns" small album picLynyrd Skynyrd are Southern Rock Legends and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. What more does Lynyrd Skynyrd have to prove? What keeps the motivation meter running with this band? In my Metal opinion, it is a combination of many things… the Skynyrd Nation and the fact that this band has never lost touch with their roots are two quick examples. Southern Music roots… family roots… old school values, these three attributes come out Southern Rockin’ loud and clear on God & Guns, (released on RoadRunner Records, September 29, 2009). My interpretation of the lyrics found on God & Guns, leads me to believe that Lynyrd Skynyrd are not about to change their beliefs, (both political and social), for no man. Lynyrd Skynyrd has never and is not about to sway or teeter on the fence with their lyrics and music, a quality that I tremendously admire of this legendary band. As the decades have passed and the Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup has unquestionably changed, none of what I have previously touched upon with this band has wavered… and the quality of the musicianship inevitably carries forward this Southern Rock icon to 2009. With God & Guns, a new Southern Rock Classic has instantly been born and I would not have expected any less from Lynyrd Skynyrd. Each of the twelve songs on this new album bestow the trademark Southern Rock shades of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s past, while combining a thrust of relevant Hard Rock vigor, making for an unforgettable listen the first time around. Johnny Van Zant sounds great on vocals and founding member and guitarist Gary Rossington, along with the entire band should be proud of this album.

Still Unbroken opens up God & Guns, it is heavy and hard, a statement that the rest of this album to follow is going to be one hell of a cool ride. Skynyrd Nation is a song overflowing with Southern Rock/Lynyrd Skynyrd pride. I am just waiting for the right moment to crank up this song to the max, with my car window down. Skynyrd Nation is the ultimate Southern Rock anthem for this band, a powerful song. Simple Life is a cry out for the way things used to be as only Lynyrd Skynyrd can convey. Here is where the old school values of life comes into play… eating dinner with your kids, not having to lock up the doors to your house, going fishing and helping out a stranger. This song may sound like preaching to some, however, the lyrics make total sense to me. Unwrite That Song is the ballad on God & Guns that provides a moment to chill, kick back and revel at the change in Southern Rock shift… this song acts as the anchor between the song list, giving me one more reason to call this album a new classic. Floyd is the song that provides the creepy moment on God & Guns. This song tells a story about a man named Floyd who mysteriously disappears after two law dogs got in his way – Southern Rock spookiness in the vein of Molly Hatchet’s classic song The Creeper.

My favorite song on God & Guns is That Ain’t My America. A patriotic song, with strong conservative views, Lynyrd Skynyrd doesn’t just add their two cents here… they reminded me once again, as to how proud I am to be an American. That Ain’t My America makes many points through it’s lyrics, yet it is done with respect and class… the Southern Rock way. Storm and Gifted Hands conclude God & Guns on a high inspirational note and there ain’t nothing wrong with that for me. The lyrics of these last two songs prove that positive lyrics incorporated with the Southern Rock sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd, can easily elevate me to the highest of cool moods. The guitar jamming in Gifted Hands could carry on for hours and I would still listen with gleeful, Southern Rock hungry ears. Aw, damn, I can easily listen to this new Lynyrd Skynyrd classic God & Guns for hours on end… and still want more.

Some extra info on this God & Guns CD:

Within the liner notes of this CD, is a cool concert photo of the late Billy Powell and Ean Evans, shown together. Lynyrd Skynyrd dedicated this new album to both of these gentlemen, along with their respective families. Complete lyrics to every song are in the liner notes. Also found within the liner notes, under the title of Additional Musicians, Rob Zombie and guitarist John 5 are credited. The liner notes do not express which songs they appear on. My Metal ears are astute to so many musicians and their style of play, (this time I am stumped), I cannot pinpoint where Rob Zombie and John 5 do appear… maybe someone out there knows for sure which songs they appear on and can drop the details in a reply.

Lynyrd Skynyrd "God & Guns" large album pic #2

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38 Special “Rockin’ Into The Night” – 1980 album keeps Rockin’

Posted in 1970's southern rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, classic southern rock, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential southern rock albums, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school southern rock music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, southern hard rock, southern hard rock albums, southern rock, southern rock 1979, southern rock albums, southern rock music, southern rock music legends, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Back in 1980, I was enthralled by 38 Special. That year, I went to the Caldor Department Store and bought the 45 rpm of the hit single – “Rockin’ Into The Night”. I was in eighth grade with not too much cash in my pocket, still I always held onto enough dough to buy my 45’s. My parents were on an extremely fixed budget, therefore, I could not coax too many higher priced albums from them back then. That was fine, I was always grateful for what my parents could afford to give me. Besides, I more often than not, earned my records from doing yard work and cleaning up the house. That 38 Special 45 rpm was played by me continuously. “Rockin’ Into The Night” was my song back in 1980, no one else’s, (or so I thought). The truth of the day is, I did not buy the actual album “Rockin’ Into The Night” until decades later. Man, what was I thinking? The 45 rpm I had from 1980 had been worn down from repeated play, eventually tossed away. Yet, as I write this post, this Classic Southern Hard Rock album, (really it is a CD now), is a permanent fixture in my music collection. 

To call this album a gem is not adequate enough. “Rockin’ Into The Night” is a Southern Hard Rock accomplishment that in my opinion, (excuse the clique’), stood the test of time. This is an album that did not even need to have a hit single, all nine songs are true Southern Rock, played hard, with a determined grit and emotion by 38 Special. The liner notes for this album says it all… “This One’s For You Ronnie!”. Ronnie Van Zant, the founder and lead singer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, had passed away in a plane crash, (on October 20, 1977) and 38 Special had dedicated this album to him. Donnie Van Zant is the younger brother of Ronnie, his vocals have always gone straight through me, especially on this album. I always sensed, no matter how many times I listen to this album, that Donnie sang with extra vigor and emotion in dedication to his brother. (This is my interpretation anyways). After all of these years… decades… I still come to the conclusion that “Rockin’ Into The Night” Rocks just as bad ass as it did in 1980. 

You would probably think that “Rockin’ Into The Night” is my favorite song off of this album. Would it be a shock to admit to all, that it is not? After the years have gone by, well, “Turn It On” is actually my favorite track off of this album, with “Rockin’ Into The Night” being a very close second. “Turn It On” just has that right beat that rivets me, the song is upbeat and true Southern Rock. The Southern Rock piano does have a substantial influence over me, especially when it is heard on “Turn It On”.  “Stone Cold Believer”, “Take Me Through The Night” and “You Got The Deal” are for me, as consistent you will ever hear, when it comes to top tier Southern Hard Rock. “Robin Hood” is the instrumental song on this album, I do consider this song as a centerpiece, if you will, for it plays out as one of the finest examples of Southern Rock music as you could ever ask for. “Money Honey” is a song that I have hit the repeat button for without hesitation. This song is just a good old Southern Rocker that spills over with Southern Rock vibe and goodness.

I always like to write about the albums, songs and the bands that create them. I also write about the bands that have made my life memorable, both past and present. 38 Special is one of those bands that has instilled in me, the appreciation for both the quality of the song and quality of the musicianship. 38 Special introduced to me, in 1980, a song that has been with me now for the majority of my life. “Rockin’ Into The Night” will be enjoyed by me for the rest of my years as well. My nine year old twin daughters have given their thumbs up to this album, this solidifies the importance of passing along great music, from legendary bands of the past, to younger generations to enjoy. It makes me feel darn cool and good, when my young twin daughters say they like 38 Special and their upbeat music.

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