Gov’t Mule – Live At Roseland Ballroom (1996)

FrontCover1.jpgLive at Roseland Ballroom is the first live album by the jam band Gov’t Mule. It was taken from their performance on New Year’s Eve, 1995, opening for Blues Traveler. It was recorded at the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan.

The album was out of print for over a decade, and used CD copies sold for over 30 dollars (US) on at one point. The album was reissued in 2007 on Evil Teen Records, the record label of Warren Haynes and his wife/manager Stephanie Scarmado. The reissue featured a cover of Voodoo Chile recorded after the death of bassist Allen Woody. In the reissue liner notes, Haynes relates that he chose to include this track, rather than a track featuring the original lineup with Woody, due to the audio quality of the recordings available to him at the time. (by wikipedia)

Muro do Classic Rock

The consummate power trio of the ’90s, Gov’t Mule drew on influences from Mountain and Cream to the Jimi Hendrix Experience. This, the band’s second album, was recorded live in concert with no overdubs, and it rocks hard. Warren Haynes and Allen Woody pull their experiences from several years with the Allman Brothers Band into the mix and turn out one impressive record. Highlights include the rock radio track “Mule” and “Kind of Bird,” co-written by Dickey Betts of the Allmans, a song that was still in the Allmans’ set list at the end of the ’90s. (by Michael B. Smith)


Gov’t Mule’s first live album, has been out of print for nearly a decade and is highly sought after by fans and collectors. Evil Teen Records is proud to re-release this definitive recording Tuesday, May 1st, 2007. Originally released October 22, 1996, the concert was recorded on December 31, 1995, and is an early hint of what has become Gov’t Mule’s perennial New Year’s Eve run at New York’s famed Beacon Theatre. The recording rocks with original classics Trane and Mule; and a majestic cover of Steppenwolf’s Don’t Step on the Grass, Sam. A bonus track, Voodoo Chile, will be included from Gov’t Mule’s October 18, 2001 Roseland Ballroom concert. Live at Roseland Ballroom demonstrates Gov’t Mule’s prowess, ambition and importance, as well as why Warren Haynes has been heralded by his contemporaries and Rolling Stone as one of rock’s greatest guitarists ever.


Matt Abts (drums)
Warren Haynes (vocals, guitar)
Allen Woody (bass)
on Voodoo Chile (recorded 18 October 2001):
Jack Casady (bass)
Chuck Leavell (organ)



01. Trane (Haynes/Woody/Abts) 16.35
02. Temporary Saint (Haynes) 5.51
03. Painted Silver Light (Haynes) 7.11
04. Don’t Step On The Grass, Sam (Kay) 8.07
05. Kind Of Bird (Haynes/Betts) 9.45
06. Mule (Haynes/Woody/Abts) 8.57
07. Voodoo Chile (Hendrix) 15.33

Muro do Classic Rock


Gov´t Mule.jpg

Betts, Hall, Leavel & Trucks – Geneva , NY (1983)

FrontCover1.jpgBetts, Hall, Leavell & Trucks features Dickey Betts and Butch Trucks (Allman Bros), Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie) and Chuck Leavell (Allman Bros & Sea Level). Unlike most Southern Rock bands in the early 80’s, this band did not venture into AOR territory. Instead, this is fairly classic Southern Rock, with songs of The Allman Brothers, and Jimmy Hall and Dickey Betts solo cuts. It’s a soundboard recording of a gig they played in Geneva, NY, on Jimmy’s birthday. The sound is a little thin at the start, but it gets better with the second song. Vocal duties are being shared by both Dickey and Jimmy. I don’t know if they ever recorded any studio demos, but this is very nice anyway. The kind of band you’d love to hear on a Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam. I’m guessing you’ll enjoy hearing this lot keep playing Southern Rock like the 80’s never happened (by skydogselysium.blogspot)

Dickey Betts

Dickey Betts (guitar, vocals)
David Goldflies (bass)
Jimmy Hall (saxophone, vocals, harmonica)
Chuck Leavell (keyboards)
Danny Parks (violin, vocals)
Butch Trucks (drums)


01. There Ain’t Nothin’ You Can Do (Betts) 3.47
02. Whole Lotta Memories (Betts) 4.31
03. One Track Mind (Duke/Hall) 6.00
04. Need Somebody’s Help Tonight (Betts) 5.05
05. Pick A Little Boogie (unknown) 4.27
06. Ramblin’ Man (Betts) 4.42
07. Rain (Betts) 5.10
08. Stop Knockin’ On My Door (unknown)
09. Lorraine (unknown) 4.40
10. Cadillac Tracks (Hall/Berwald) 13.36
11. Jessica (Betts) 10.12
12. Southbound (Betts) 7.34



Outlaws – Lady In Waiting (1976)

FrontCover1.jpgIt’s not easy following up a creatively and commercially successful debut album, but Florida-based Southern rockers the Outlaws did just fine with their sophomore effort, 1976’s Lady in Waiting, the follow-up to their 1975 self-titled, gold-selling release. Although Lady in Waiting doesn’t have all-time knockouts like “There Goes Another Love Song” or “Green Grass & High Tides,” it does include a handful of Outlaws classics, including the minor hit “Breaker-Breaker” and “Stick Around for Rock & Roll.” Vocalists/guitarists Hughie Thomasson, Henry Paul, and Billy Jones; bass guitarist Frank O’Keefe (who was fired after this album); and drummer Monte Yoho collaborated once more with producer Paul A. Rothchild to create a textured album that managed to fuse intricate guitar arrangements and frame them within Thomasson’s rock & roll, Paul’s pure country, and Jones’ intensely personal songwriting styles. And don’t forget the splendid three-part vocal harmonies either. “Breaker-Breaker” is bright, easygoing country-rock; lyrically, it piggybacked on the mid-’70s CB radio craze.


The tempo changes and distinctly different guitar tones on “South Carolina” add extra dimensions to what would otherwise be straightforward, up-tempo country. Jones’ “Ain’t So Bad” is mid-tempo pop/rock with ironic lyrics about life and death, especially since he committed suicide two decades later in 1995 around the time of O’Keefe’s death. The tough country-rock, rockabilly-flavored number “Freeborn Man” was, unbelievably, co-written by Paul Revere and the Raiders vocalist Mark Lindsey and guitarist Keith Allison; the guitar solos provide the punch, but O’Keefe’s walking bassline adds a nice, loping rhythm. Paul’s country-inflected “Girl From Ohio” is rife with gorgeous harmonies. “Prisoner” is a sensitive Jones song with occasional jazz-pop tendencies. The hard-rocking “Stick Around for Rock & Roll” is a rowdy guitar jam. Lady in Waiting was reissued on CD by Buddha Records in 2001. (by Bret Adams)


Bill Jones (guitar, vocals)
Frank O’Keefe (bass)
Henry Paul (guitar, vocals)
Hughie Thomasson (guitar, vocals)
Monte Yoho (drums)
Joe Lala (percussion)


01. Breaker-Breaker (Thomasson) 2.57
02. South Carolina (Paul) 3.04
03. Ain’t So Bad (Jones) 3.47
04. Freeborn Man (Allison/Lindsey) 4.48
05. Girl From Ohio (Paul) 5.01
06. Lover Boy (Thomasson) 3.57
07. Just For You (Thomasson) 3.15
08. Prisoner (Jones) 3.56
09. Stick Around For Rock & Roll (Thomasson) 6.38




Lynyrd Skynyrd – Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd (1973)

FrontCover1.jpg(Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd) is the debut album from Lynyrd Skynyrd, released in 1973. The album features several of the band’s most well-known songs, including “Gimme Three Steps,” “Simple Man,” “Tuesday’s Gone” and “Free Bird,” which launched the band to national stardom.

Bassist Leon Wilkeson left the band early in the album’s recording sessions after playing on only two tracks. Strawberry Alarm Clock guitarist Ed King was asked to fill in for Wilkeson on bass during the remaining sessions, as Wilkeson had already written many of the bass parts. This left Skynyrd with only six official members at the time of the album’s release. Not long after, King was made a member of the band so it could replicate the triple-guitar lead during live performances. Wilkeson returned to the band toward the end of the recording sessions. The album was certified gold on December 18, 1974, platinum and double platinum on July 21, 1987, by the RIAA. The album also peaked at 27 in the Billboard 200 in 1975.

The album was re-released in 2001 as an expanded version with bonus tracks, including demos of many of the songs on the album. Sales through 2014 were an estimated 2 million units internationally.

The cover photograph was taken on Main Street in Jonesboro, Georgia and shows, from left to right, Leon Wilkeson (seated), Billy Powell (seated), Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington (seated), Bob Burns, Allen Collins and Ed King. With Ed King’s death of lung cancer on August 22, 2018, guitarist Gary Rossington (seated third from left) is the only one currently alive from that famous picture.

Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd immediately put the band on the rock-and-roll map. In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album number 403 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. (by wikipedia)


The Allman Brothers came first, but Lynyrd Skynyrd epitomized Southern rock. The Allmans were exceptionally gifted musicians, as much bluesmen as rockers. Skynyrd was nothing but rockers, and they were Southern rockers to the bone. This didn’t just mean that they were rednecks, but that they brought it all together — the blues, country, garage rock, Southern poetry — in a way that sounded more like the South than even the Allmans. And a large portion of that derives from their hard, lean edge, which was nowhere more apparent than on their debut album, Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd. Produced by Al Kooper, there are few records that sound this raw and uncompromising, especially records by debut bands. Then again, few bands sound this confident and fully formed with their first record. Perhaps the record is stronger because it’s only eight songs, so there isn’t a wasted moment, but that doesn’t discount the sheer strength of each song. Consider the opening juxtaposition of the rollicking “I Ain’t the One” with the heartbreaking “Tuesday’s Gone.”


Two songs couldn’t be more opposed, yet Skynyrd sounds equally convincing on both. If that’s all the record did, it would still be fondly regarded, but it wouldn’t have been influential. The genius of Skynyrd is that they un-self-consciously blended album-oriented hard rock, blues, country, and garage rock, turning it all into a distinctive sound that sounds familiar but thoroughly unique. On top of that, there’s the highly individual voice of Ronnie Van Zant, a songwriter who isn’t afraid to be nakedly sentimental, spin tales of the South, or to twist macho conventions with humor. And, lest we forget, while he does this, the band rocks like a motherf*cker. It’s the birth of a great band that birthed an entire genre with this album. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


Bob Burns (drums)
Allen Collins (guitar)
Ed King (bass, guitar on 06.)
Billy Powell (keyboards)
Gary Rossington (guitar, slide-guitar)
Ronnie van Zant (vocals)
Bobbye Hall (percussion on 03. + 05.)
Steve Katz (harmonica on 06.)
Al Kooper (Roosevelt Gook) – bass, mellotron and background vocals on 02.,  mandolin, bass drum on 06.,  “Mississippi Kid,” organ on 04., 07. + 08., mellotron on 08.)


01. I Ain’t The One (Rossington/v.Zant) 3.53
02. Tuesday’s Gone (Collins/v.Zant) 7.30
03. Gimme Three Steps (Collins/v.Zant) 4.28
04. Simple Man (Rossington/v.Zant) 5.56
05. Things Goin’ On (Rossington/v.Zant)t 4.58
06. Mississippi Kid (Burns/Kooper/v.Zant) 3.55
07. Poison Whiskey (King(v.Zant) 3.13
08. Free Bird (Collins/v.Zant) 9.07



Ed King01

Ed King (September 14, 1949 – August 22, 2018)

Ed King, the Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist who joined the band in 1972 to give the Southern rock group its iconic three-guitar sound, died Wednesday in Nashville. He was 68. A cause of death was not specified, though King had been battling lung cancer and had recently been hospitalized for the disease.

A message on King’s Facebook confirmed his death: “It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Ed King who died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee on August 22nd, 2018. We thank his many friends and fans for their love and support of Ed during his life and career.”

A California native, King was a founding member of the psychedelic Sixties band Strawberry Alarm Clock, known for their hit “Incense and Peppermints.” He offered to join Skynyrd when, opening for the band at the Jacksonville, Florida, bar the Comic Book Club in 1968, he heard them rehearsing the song “Need All My Friends.” It wasn’t until 1972, however, when King would sign on with Skynyrd, temporarily replacing bassist Leon Wilkeson and then becoming a full-fledged member as third guitarist.

King played on the band’s first three albums: 1973’s (Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd), 1974’s Second Helping and 1975’s Nuthin’ Fancy. He most famously co-wrote Second Helping‘s “Sweet Home Alabama” – that’s him counting off “1, 2, 3” in the song’s intro – which, along with “Free Bird,” has become synonymous with the group.

After a dust-up with singer Ronnie Van Zant, King, tired of the Skynyrd drama and propensity for fighting, exited the band in 1975, detailing the incident in the superb new documentary If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd.

“I’m the hippie from Southern California. I’m not digging the violence part,” King said, recounting how a broken string at a show in Pittsburgh earned him the wrath of the mercurial Van Zant. “Ronnie and my guitar roadie who changed my strings were thrown in jail in Ann Arbor. They didn’t arrive … until 10 minutes before we went on. I had to Ed King02.jpgplay on old strings and I broke two strings during ‘Free Bird.’ After, Ronnie was riding me, and a lightbulb went off and I said, ‘That’s it.’ I went back to my room, packed up my stuff and left.”

King is a highlight of If I Leave Here Tomorrow, offering keen firsthand insight into the Southern band as an outsider from California. On the album cover for Pronounced, King is pictured far right, a bit detached from the group.

Guitarist Gary Rossington, the lone original member of the Lynyrd Skynyrd that tours today, quipped on King’s aloof, business-minded nature in the documentary. “He’d stop and buy $100 worth of Slim Jims and have him in a briefcase and, driving an hour or two, you get hungry, he’d sell them to us and triple the price,” he said.

Following King’s death, Rossington released a statement. “I’ve just found out about Ed’s passing and I’m shocked and saddened,” he said. “Ed was our brother, and a great songwriter and guitar player. I know he will be reunited with the rest of the boys in Rock and Roll Heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” (by Joseph Hudak/Rolling Stone, August 23, 2018)


Mose Jones – Get Right (1973)

FrontCover1.JPGThe Band formed in 1972, with core members from the Florida band “Stonehenge”. The band name derived from jazz great “Mose Allison’ and a family dog named “Jones”. Initially the band was created with Clay Watkins on keys, then during the recording of their first album, replaced by long-time friend Steve McRay (keys and vocals), who had just returned from his stint with the US ARMY and serving in Vietnam.

In 1972 Mose Jones was the first band signed by Al Kooper for his startup Atlanta label “Sounds of the South” on MCA Records. Al’s “Blues Project” was chosen, and a band named “Elijah”. The last band signed was a little band from Jacksonville that had been playing in Atlanta – that band’s name was “Lynyrd Skynyrd”. (by

And here´s the first album of Mose Jones:

It’s a great quality rip, so thanks to whoever made this available. It’s quite a lovely record. First released on Al Kooper’s ‘Sounds Of The South’-label, this record was launched with the label, along with Skynyrd’s “Pronounced” album.


An important part of Southern Rock history, cause this is when Southern Rock started to become the kind of music that we know and love so well. When it became a big thing. Unfortunately Mose Jones never made it big, but it is a nice album. I prefer it to the “Mose Knows” album. It’s hippy-ish rock at times, but there’s some passionate singing going on. I quite enjoyed myself, listening to this album.  The song “Old Man trouble” features slide guitar by Lowell George, and is one of the better songs. Nothing bad about this.(by skydog)

This a real pretty good album … a forotten jewel in the history of Southern Rock


Bryan Cole (drums, vocals)
Randy Lewis (bass, vocals)
Steve McRay (keyboards, vocals)
Jimmy O’Neill (guitar, mellotron, vocals)
Lowell George (slide guitar on 04.)
Al Kooper (synthesizer on 03., background vocals)
Clay Watkins (organ on 10.)


01, Get Right (Kooper) 1.45
02 Here We Go Again (Cole/O’Neill) 4.26
03. Kiwi Stumble Boogie (O’Neill) 3.16
04. Ole Man Trouble (Jones) 7.08
05. What Kind Of Woman Would Do That (Kooper/O’Neill) 4.20
06. Barroom Sweeper (Cole/O’Neill) 3.13
07. It’s A Whole Lot Of Fun (Cole/O’Neill/Lewis) 2.31
08. Ode To Drugan (Nuttycombe/Lambert/Drugan) 4.49
09. All That I’ve Got (Preston) 3.07
10. Julia’s Beautiful Friend (Cole/O’Neill) 6.22
11. Get Right: Reprise (Kooper) 0.16




Sea Level – Cats On The Coast (1977)

FrontCover1.JPGCats on the Coast was the second album by American rock band Sea Level. It was released in 1977 on Capricorn Records.

The leadoff track, “That’s Your Secret”, reached #50 on the Billboard Hot 100, the band’s only charting single.

The cover photo of Sea Level’s sophomore album, 1977’s Cats on the Coast, depicts nearly twice the number of musicians as the cover photo of the band’s eponymous debut album released earlier that same year. There’s a lot of promise on display, and the music largely fulfills expectations. In addition to the quartet introduced on Sea Level — keyboardist/vocalist Chuck Leavell, drummer/percussionist Jaimoe, bassist Lamar Williams, and guitarist Jimmy Nalls — the band now includes singer/songwriter and saxophonist Randall Bramblett, guitarist Davis Causey, and drummer George Weaver (the latter featured prominently since Jaimoe only plays congas, and only on three tracks). This lineup bears remarkable similarity to the then-disbanded Allman Brothers, from whom Leavell, Jaimoe, and Williams had departed: two guitarists, two percussionists (well, sometimes), a bassist, a keyboardist — and, importantly, Bramblett, a proven session man, saxophonist, and singer/songwriter with two acclaimed but underappreciated solo albums (1975’s That Other Mile and 1976’s Light of the Night) under his belt. Cats on the Coast wastes no time introducing the new singer with the Bramblett/Causey co-written leadoff track “That’s Your Secret,” building from pure Southern R&B/soul/funk into dual-guitar fireworks (Causey in one channel; Nalls in the other) that any Southern rock fan could appreciate. Bramblett’s somewhat oblique lyrics may lack the emotional immediacy his writing often possesses, but Sea Level clearly weren’t about to introduce the singer with anything remotely approaching a downer (“This Could Be the Worst” could wait for the next album, On the Edge).

Sea Level01.jpg

Leavell takes over the mike on the soul shouter “It Hurts to Want It So Bad,” featuring the Muscle Shoals Horns, and Bramblett and Leavell trade off verses on the down-n-dirty Louisiana swamp blues-funk of “Had to Fall,” which collapses into utterly unhinged howling derangement at the end. The mood is far calmer in “Every Little Thing,” Bramblett’s “let’s-talk-it-over” display of sensitivity later in the track list. But Sea Level’s instrumental skill was the main attraction on the debut, and here they arguably up the ante. Leavell’s “Storm Warning” stands with his best jazz-rock fusion numbers, but with stinging dual lead guitars the likes of which hadn’t emerged from a Capricorn studio date since the Allmans left their blues at home on Idlewild South. Bramblett’s soprano sax here, and his soulful alto on Neil Larsen’s “Midnight Pass,” add even stronger jazziness to the band’s palette. Best of all is the two-part instrumental title track, with Nalls’ slide approaching Duane Allman territory and Bramblett’s soprano answering him in a stunning call and response; after a full-band climax, Jaimoe and Weaver take the track out under a flurry of simulated seagull cries. The album then concludes with the brief “Song for Amy,” a lovely and unexpected coda featuring Leavell on piano accompanied by a string quartet. Some great music from Sea Level was still to come, but the best moments of Cats on the Coast wouldn’t be topped. (by Dave Lynch)


Randall Bramblett (organ, saxophone. vocals, percussion)
Davis Causey (guitar, background vocals)
Jai Johanny Johanson (percussion)
Chuck Leavell (keyboards, clavinet, percussion, vocals)
Jimmy Nalls (guitar, background vocals)
George Weaver (drums)
Lamar Williams (bass)


01. That’s Your Secret (Bramblett/Causey) 5.12
02. It Hurts To Want It So Bad (Feldman/T.Smith/S.Smith) 3.33
03. Storm Warning (Leavell) 5.23
04. Had To Fall (Bramblett/Nalls/Williams) 4.35
05. Midnight Pass (Larson) 6.32
06. Every Little Thing (Bramblett) 4.43
07. Cats On The Coast (Causey) 5.39
08. Song For Amy (Leavell) 1.42



Drive-By Truckers – Southern Rock Opera (2001)

FrontCover1.jpgSouthern Rock Opera is the third studio album by the alt country band Drive-By Truckers, released in 2001. A double album covering an ambitious range of subject matter from the politics of race to 1970s stadium rock, Southern Rock Opera either imagines, or filters, every topic through the context of legendary Southern band, Lynyrd Skynyrd. The record was originally self-released on Soul Dump Records. The album was re-released on July 16, 2002 by Lost Highway Records. The album was financed by issuing promissory notes in exchange for loans from fans, family and friends of the band.[citation needed]Southern Rock Opera is the third studio album by the alt country band Drive-By Truckers, released in 2001. A double album covering an ambitious range of subject matter from the politics of race to 1970s stadium rock, Southern Rock Opera either imagines, or filters, every topic through the context of legendary Southern band, Lynyrd Skynyrd. The record was originally self-released on Soul Dump Records. The album was re-released on July 16, 2002 by Lost Highway Records. The album was financed by issuing promissory notes in exchange for loans from fans, family and friends of the band.

The idea for Southern Rock Opera pre-dates the band’s formation in 1996. Southern Rock Opera began in a long discussion between Drive-By Truckers’ frontman Patterson Hood and former Truckers bassist and producer Earl Hicks, during a road trip. The pair discussed writing a semi-autobiographical screenplay about growing up in the South and about the plane crash that almost ended the career of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, taking singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and Gaines’ back-up-singer sister Cassie Gaines.

Soon after this discussion, Hood formed Drive-By Truckers. The Truckers recorded two studio albums and one live album during the four years between their formation and the actual recording of Southern Rock Opera. During these years, Drive-By’s principal songwriters Hood, Mike Cooley, and Rob Malone continued to contribute songs to “The Rock Opera”, as they had come to call it.
After the release of their live album Alabama Ass Whuppin’, Drive-By Truckers began recording what they hoped would be their magnum opus: Southern Rock Opera. According to Patterson Hood, “(the album) was recorded in Birmingham, upstairs in a uniform shop during an early September heat wave, with no air-conditioning. We had to turn the fans off when we were recording, and we worked from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. So Southern Rock Opera was fun to write, but we had a miserable time making it.”

After the album was finished, however, the troubles continued for The Truckers when they ran out of funding for the immense project. To resolve the problem, and to avoid “any fine print crap”, as Hood put it, the band took a non-traditional approach. The Truckers made a prospectus and solicited investors, with a promise of 15% interest, to pay for the manufacturing and distribution of Southern Rock Opera. The approach worked. Through their fan-based online news group and by sheer word of mouth, The Truckers were able to raise $23,000. This allowed them to print about 5,000 copies of the album, and buy a “new” used van for touring. Notably included in the group, dubbed “The DBT Investors”, was Widespread Panic bassist and fellow Athenian Dave Schools.


Southern Rock Opera was finally released on September 12, 2001 on Soul Dump Records.
The critical praise for Southern Rock Opera created no shortage of buzz around the album and the band. The Truckers didn’t have the means to press the necessary amount of copies of the album on their own.
In order to meet demand, Drive-By Truckers signed a large-scale distribution deal with Lost Highway Records. Southern Rock Opera was re-released, this time worldwide, on July 16, 2002. (by wikipedia)


Don’t be deterred by the rather misleading title. Not a rock opera in the sense of Tommy or Jesus Christ Superstar, this sprawling double disc is more akin to a song cycle about Southern rock, in particular Lynyrd Skynyrd. Almost six years in the making, the Drive-By Truckers have created a startlingly intelligent work that proudly stands with the best music of their obvious inspiration. Largely written and conceived by lead trucker Patterson Hood (son of famed Muscle Shoals bassist David Hood), who sings the majority of the songs in a torn, ragged, but emotionally charged twangy voice somewhere between Tom Petty and Rod Stewart, these 20 literate tracks encapsulate a remarkably objective look at what Hood calls “the duality of the South.” Rocking with a lean hardness, the story unfolds over 90 minutes, but the savvy lyrical observations never overburden the songs’ clenched grip.


While bands like the similarly styled Bottle Rockets have worked this territory before, never has a group created an opus that’s thematically tied to this genre while objectively exploring its conceptual limitations. The two discs are divided into Acts I and II; the first sets the stage by exploring aspects of an unnamed Southern teen’s background growing up as a music fan in an environment where sports stars, not rock stars, were idolized. The second follows him as he joins his Skynyrd-styled dream band, tours the world, and eventually crashes to his death in the same sort of airplane accident that claimed his heroes. The Drive-By Truckers proudly charge through these songs with their three guitars, grinding and soloing with a swampy intensity recalling a grittier, less commercially viable early version of Skynyrd. A potentially dodgy concept that’s redeemed by magnificent songwriting, passionate singing, and ruggedly confident but far from over-the-top playing, Southern Rock Opera should be required listening not only for fans of the genre, but anyone interested in the history of ’70s rock, or even the history of the South in that decade. More the story of Hood than Skynyrd, this is thought-provoking music that also slashes, burns, and kicks out the jams. Its narrative comes to life through these songs of alienation, excess, and, ultimately, salvation, as seen through the eyes of someone who lived and understands it better than most. (by Hal Horowitz)

In other words: A masterpiece !


Mike Cooley (guitar, vocals)
Earl Hicks (bass)
Patterson Hood (guitar, vocals)
Rob Malone (guitar, vocals)
Brad Morgan (drums)
background voclas:
Kelly Hogan – Anne Richmond Boston – Jyl Freed – Amy Pike



CD 1:
01. Days Of Graduation (Hood) 2.37
02. Ronnie And Neil (Hood) 4.53
03. 72 (This Highway’s Mean) (Cooley) 5.26
04. Dead, Drunk, and Naked (Hood) 4.51
05. Guitar Man Upstairs (Cooley) 3.17
06. Birmingham (Hood) 5.03
07. The Southern Thing (Hood) 5.00
08. The Three Great Alabama Icons (Hood) 6.51
09. Wallace (Hood) 3.27
10. Zip City (Cooley) 5.17
11. Moved (Malone) 4.17

CD 2:
12. Let There Be Rock (Hood) 4.18
13. Road Cases (Hood) 2.43
14. Women Without Whiskey (Cooley) 4.20
15. Plastic Flowers On The Highway (Hood) 5.05
16. Cassie’s Brother (Malone) 4.58
17. Life In The Factory (Hood) 5.28
18. Shut Up And Get On The Plane (Cooley) 3.38
19. Greenville To Baton Rouge (Hood) 4.12
20. Angels And Fuselage (Hood) 8.00