Southern Rock Resurgence: What is Old is New

Southern rock didn’t die when Skynyrd did; it just needed sometime to grieve and regroup.

The genre “southern rock” has kind of disappeared over the years and it’s time to be revived. Beards, long hair, whiskey, cigarettes, denim, American flags and Muscle Shoals are still intact so why is southern rock not? Lack of bands fitting the criteria for the genre? Did the evolution of music quietly push the southern rock genre out of the picture? Maybe it really did just fall to the way-side when the 80’s came along and after Van Zandt died? I’m not entirely sure as to why it went away but it’s time that it came back home; I’ve missed it.

Wikipedia defines Southern Rock as: “A subgenre of rock music and a genre of Americana. It was developed in the Southern United States from rocknroll, country music, and blues and is focused generally on electric guitar and vocals.”

I don’t know about you, but I personally know musicians whose bands fit this description EXACTLY. So what the hell wiki music gods? If that’s the checklist, then what are you waiting on!? It’s already hard enough for bands to find a place to fit in, not to mention find a radio station that will even play their tunes but yet these stations have no problem playing Statesboro Blues 9 times a day… How about throwing some new southern rock in the mix, hoss? Is it classic rock? No, not yet; however, listening to Tuesday’s Gone for the 300th time in a week doesn’t make the song any more classic than if you played it once….sorry back on topic now…

I think over the years that southern rock has unfairly gotten associated with the term “redneck” and confederate flags (which is an entirely separate discussion in itself) and that’s completely unfair. It would take a lot less time to just copy and paste the DBT lyrics from “The Southern Thing” to hammer this point home and frankly, Hood can get the point across better than I but he’s not here is he!? 😉 Now, the word southern already embraces “rednecks” and “country livin” so it’s not as if we don’t have our work cutout for us but if you look back at the origins of southern rock: blues and soul and gospel, these three styling’s are very important developing factors for this genre of rock music and are historically dominated by black musicians so throw the redneck BS out of this equation; it’s about the music not color of skin.

Ain’t about no hatred better raise a glass / It’s a little about some rebels but it ain’t about the past / Ain’t about no foolish pride, ain’t about no flag / Hate’s the only thing that my truck would want to drag…You think I’m dumb, maybe not too bright / You wonder how I sleep at night / Proud of the glory, stare down the shame / Duality of the southern thing.

There are a lot of good bands out here that can easily carry the torch for southern rock’s building comeback; I even think Duane Allman would approve. Many of these musicians/bands just happen to be from the south and play rocknroll; put two and two together genius, what else would you call their style of music? Check out the associated playlists for some great bands who are sticking to their guns. It’s a little bit country, it’s a little bit rocknroll and a lot of bit great music. It’s Southern Rock and it’s time for a resurgence.

Playlist:

  • Dirt Track – Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires (AL)
  • Devil’s in the Details – Glossary (TN)
  • Never Gonna Change – Jason Isbell/Drive By Truckers (AL/GA)
  • 1000 Dollar Car – Ned Van Go (TN)
  • Benjamin – Arliss Nancy (CO)
  • If My Heart Don’t Fail Me – Efren (GA)
  • I Can’t Stand This – Kentucky Knife Fight (KY)
  • The Grant – Lauderdale (AL)
  • Choke – The Black Cadillacs (TN)
  • Look at Me – Those Crosstown Rivals (KY)
  • Campaign Song ’93 – Jon Snodgrass (MO/CO)
  • Super 8 – Jason Isbell (AL)
  • Do The Crawl – Dexateens (AL)
  • 8 AM Blues – Natural Child (TN)
  • Coming Through the Pines – Blackfoot Gypsies (TN)
  • Tim Tim – Bohannons (TN)
  • Don’t Owe You a Thang – Gary Clark Jr (TX)
  • Clark Ave – American Aquarium (NC)
  • Rebel Man – The Pollies (AL)
  • Rock and Roll Forever – The Whigs (GA)
  • Chippewa – Benjamin Booker (LA)
  • Tears Don’t Matter Much – Lucero (TN)
  • Radar Gun – The Bottle Rockets (MO)
  • Fourth of July – Porter and The Pollies (TX/AL)
  • Alphabet City – Todd May (OH)
  • Zip City – Drive By Truckers (AL)
  • When I’m Gone – The White Buffalo (LA)
  • Missouri Boy – The Hooten Hallers (MO)
  • The Prettiest Waitress in Memphis – Cory Branan (MS/TN)
  • The Southern Thing – Drive By Truckers (AL/GA)
  • Heartbroken, in Disrepair – Dan Auerbach (OH)

Click here to listen on Spotify.

So, looking forward, out of all 30 tracks ONLY 3 bands/artists listed above are beyond the Mason-Dixon Line. Furthermore, Todd May is always playing in the south with Lydia Loveless, Dan Auerbach has lived in Nashville for a while now (too long if you as Jack White), and Arliss Nancy may as well be from the south, just ask them. They love boiled peanuts, whiskey, the Allman Brothers, and “pulling buckets,” so they get a special pass and I’ve adopted them as Alabama residents; deal with it.

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