Southern rock is a subgenre of rock music and a genre of Americana. It developed in the Southern United States from rock and roll, country music, and blues, and is focused generally on electric guitar and vocals. Although the origin of the term Southern rock is unknown, “many people feel that these important contributors to the development of rock and roll have been minimized in rock’s history.”
The Allman Brothers Band played blues rock with long jams. Loosely associated with the first wave of Southern rock were acts like Barefoot Jerry and Charlie Daniels from North Carolina. In the early 1970s, another wave of hard rock Southern groups emerged. Their music emphasized boogie rhythms and fast guitar leads with lyrics extolling the values, aspirations – and excesses – of Southern working-class young adults, not unlike the outlaw country movement. Examples include The Marshall Tucker Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, and Blackfoot. Bands such as Drivin N Cryin, Dash Rip Rock, and Kentucky Headhunters emerged as popular Southern bands across the Southeastern United States during the 1980s and 1990s. The Georgia Satellites also had some widespread popularity in the mid to late 1980s. Some rock groups from the South, such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds incorporated Southern musical and lyrical themes.
The 1990s also saw the influence of Southern rock touching metal. In 2001, Kid Rock went from a rock/rapper to a southern rocker/country singer. Southern rock currently plays on the radio in the United States, but mostly on oldies stations and classic rock stations. Post-grunge bands such as Nickelback have included a Southern rock feel to their songs.[clarification needed] Additionally, alternative rock groups like Kings of Leon combine Southern rock with garage rock, alt-country, and blues rock. Several of the original early 1970s hard rock Southern rock groups are still performing today, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, and Canned Heat.
Rock music’s origins lie mostly in the music of the American South, and many stars from the first wave of 1950s rock and roll such as Bo Diddley, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, and Jerry Lee Lewis hailed from the Deep South. However, the British Invasion and the rise of folk rock and psychedelic rock in the middle 1960s shifted the focus of new rock music away from the rural south and to large cities like Liverpool, London, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco. But Sir Douglas Quintet, Tony Joe White and Dale Hawkins issued nice albums. In the late 1960s, Blues rock band such as Canned Heat (from Los Angeles), Creedence Clearwater Revival (from El Cerrito, California), and The Band (Canadian, though drummer Levon Helm was a native Arkansan) were under the influence of Southern blues, boogie and country music.
The Allman Brothers Band, based in Macon, Georgia, made their national debut in 1969 and soon gained a loyal following. Their blues rock sound on one hand incorporated long jams informed by jazz and classical music, and on the other hand drew from native elements of country and folk. Because a certain type of blues music, and essentially, rock and roll, was invented in the South, Gregg Allman commented that “Southern rock” was a redundant term, like “rock rock.”
The Allman Brothers were signed to Capricorn Records, a small Macon label formed and headed by Phil Walden (former manager of Otis Redding) and partner Frank Fenter, former European Managing Director of Atlantic Records. Similar acts recorded on Capricorn included The Marshall Tucker Band from Spartanburg, South Carolina, Wet Willie from Alabama, Grinderswitch from Georgia (and composed of Allman Brothers’ roadies) and the Elvin Bishop Band from Oklahoma.
Loosely associated with the first wave of Southern rock were acts like Barefoot Jerry and Charlie Daniels from North Carolina. Charlie Daniels, a big-bearded fiddler with a knack for novelty songs, gave Southern rock its self-identifying anthem with his 1975 hit “The South’s Gonna Do It”, the lyrics of which mentioned all of the above bands, proclaiming: “Be proud you’re a rebel/’Cause the South’s gonna do it again.” A year earlier, Daniels had started the Volunteer Jam, an annual Southern rock-themed concert held in Tennessee. The Winters Brothers Band from Franklin, Tennessee was a band Charlie Daniels helped to get started with “Sang Her Love Songs”, “Smokey Mountain Log Cabin Jones”, and more. They still perform and hold an annual festival in Nolensville, Tennessee every year.
In the early 1970s, another wave of hard rock Southern groups emerged. Their music emphasized boogie rhythms and fast guitar leads with lyrics extolling the values, aspirations – and excesses – of Southern working-class young adults, not unlike the outlaw country movement. Lynyrd Skynyrd of Jacksonville, Florida dominated this genre until the deaths of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and two other members of the group in a 1977 airplane crash. After this tragic plane crash, members Allen Collins and Gary Rossington started The Rossington-Collins Band. Groups such as Ozark Mountain Daredevils, .38 Special, Confederate Railroad, Outlaws, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, The John Lee Walker Band, Point Blank, Black Oak Arkansas, and the Edgar Winter Group also thrived in this genre.
Not all Southern rock artists fit into the above molds. The Atlanta Rhythm Section and the Amazing Rhythm Aces were more focused on vocal harmonies, and Louisiana’s Le Roux ranged from Cajun-flavored Southern boogie early on to a more arena rock sound later on, while the Dixie Dregs and Allman Brothers’ offshoot Sea Level explored jazz fusion. At Southern rock’s peak The Allman Brothers and other Capricorn artists played a part in Jimmy Carter’s 1980 campaign for the presidency (by wikipedia)
And this is the the ultimate live compilation from Capricorn. Two LPs featured live tracks from Stillwater, The Dixie Dregs, The Marshall Tucker Band, Bonnie Bramlett, Grinderswitch, Elvin Bishop, Wet Willie, Richard Betts, Gregg Allman, and The Allman Brothers Band. Enjoy the power of Southern Rock !
(This entry is dedicated to Phil Walden: Hereá picture of Walden with The Allman Brothers Band in the studio)
01. Stillwater: Out On A Limb (Walker/Hall/Causey/Spearman) 5.05
02. Stillwater: Mind Bender (Walker/Buie) 5.07
03. Sea Level: Grand Larceny (Larsen) 8.00
04. Dixie Dregs: Refried Funky Chicken (Morse) 2.55
(Recorded At The Fox Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia, May 1978)
05. The Marshall Tucker Band: Fire On A Mountain (McCorkle) 4.35
(Recorded At The Palace Theatre, Manchester, England, December 1976)
06. Bonnie Bramlett: Superstar (Russell/Bramlett) 6.16
(Recorded At The Apollo Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, December 1976)
07. Grinderswitch: You’re So Fine (Schofield/Finnie) 3.28
(Recorded At The Hammersmith Odeon, London, England, November 1976)
08. Elvin Bishop: Travelin’ Shoes (Bishop) 7.22
(Recorded At The Roxy, Los Angeles, California, October 1976)
09. The Marshall Tucker Band: Take The Highway (Caldwell) 7.55
(Recorded At Uhlein Hall, Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1973)
10. Wet Willie: Teaser (Duke) 4.05
(Recorded At The Roxy, Los Angeles, California, March 1976)
11. Richard Betts: No Hard Times (Rodgers) 4.28
(Recorded At Winterland, San Francisco, California, December 1974)
12. Gregg Allman: Are You Lonely For Me, Baby? (Berns) 4.22
(Recorded At Carnegie Hall, New York, NY, November 1973 )
13. The Allman Brothers Band: Statesboro Blues (McTell) 4.26
(Recorded At Fillmore East, New York, NY, March 1971)