Category: Summer Music Series

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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Summer Shindig Mystery: Hayden Crawford?

summer_shindig_II_poster_webIn mere hours, Tuscaloosa’s Bama Theatre will be the place for one of the most wonderful events of the summer. (Note: I am saying this with all of the bias.) You will fall in love for the first or second or eighth time and be mesmerized by the stage. (Note: All of the bias.)

There is so much talent on the stage, but it’s also a bit hard to write about all of this talent. I mean, I’ve done it before.

When Blaine Duncan & The Lookers, The Bear, Looksy, and Belle Adair take the stage tonight, it is an event worthy of an actual shindig. But let’s dig into a mystery for a second. The question is: Hayden Crawford?

“Hayden is a weird little guy, but his music makes me wanna reach for a fresh Dookie sandwich.”

That quote is from Adam Morrow of Callooh! Callay!, Belle Adair, and the Lookers and in our joke speak, this is a compliment. Hayden Crawford is from Tuscaloosa and currently resides in New Orleans. I first came to know him through being told by Blaine Duncan himself that Hayden was a big fan of mine. We had never met in person. Also, I only wrote stuff like this. And in this case, Hayden was kind of a weird little guy. His only picture on his Twitter profile is a screencap of when I added him on Goodreads. I’m still trying to figure out if that was genuine or to keep the bit alive. By that time, Hayden was a full member of the Lookers, performing live alongside members of the band that I talked to for this piece. If anybody knows the enigma of Hayden Crawford, multi-instrumentalist and serial warbler, it’s the people he hung out with on the After She Dies tour of 2013.

“Hayden is awesome. He’s a great guy: sarcastically sweet and sweetly sarcastic,” said Blaine Duncan on his former member. I’ll let Blaine explain his own experiences with Hayden. “He is loyal, dependable, and professional. He can any instrument with strings, which benefits us because he is pretty willing to fill any role. He’s a great songwriter, too. That helps because he has great ideas for song arrangements. He’s one of my favorite folks, and though I’ve known him only five or six years, he’s a close friend.

Duncan adds, “I guess my favorite thing about Hayden is something that I can relate to (and something he’ll openly admit, so I’m not telling tales out of school) – he doesn’t know much about a guitar as far as technical aspects, like strings, amps, repair, but he can play one as good as anyone. He can tell you the key and chord structure of a song within seconds of hearing it. That’s somewhat common with guitarists, but probably not as common with guitarists who don’t change their own strings. That story serves as a good metaphor for him: really great but not too concerned that he is.”

We’re getting closer to the mystery, but I also wonder if Hayden himself can shed some light on his own self-identity: “In addition to being a Taco shirt enthusiast, Hayden Crawford enjoys many humorous cotton fabrications. Let us not forget the likes of Santa Claus drinking champagne in a hot tub shirt, black guitar shirt, and the classic crawfish salting a bed of fries shirt.”

So Hayden likes a lot of T-shirts and is great at music. Yup. Mystery solved. However, since Crawford is a former Lookers member, just what in the hell does this piece have to do with anything? I mean, other than the bias.

After the Shindig, there is an afterparty show at the Alcove with Hayden Crawford, Daniel Elias Crisler, and the two-piece Della Ray. It will be an atomic bomb of weirdness. I recommend it on that alone. Anything to funnel through some sort of weirdness helps, though. But honestly, I don’t know if I can fully say I get Hayden Crawford still. Maybe there isn’t a mystery and people just are as they are.

 

Mutual friend Jeff Hanson put it best: “[Hayden’s] darkest secrets are that he has no

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secrets at all.”

Birmingham gets ALL THE SHOWS!

You think you know, but you have no idea.

Welcome to a comprehensive list of all the headliners & festivals headed to our fair city in the coming months.

I’m just gonna throw a list at you because I know you just gonna scroll anyway. Hard to be mad with this level of abundance going on. LEHGO.

 

Jimmy Eat World, celebrating 10 years of their Futures album at WorkPlay on Oct 26
Jimmy Eat World, celebrating 10 years of their Futures album at WorkPlay on Oct 26

IRON CITY:

  • Juvenile (this Sat, 7/12)
  • Curren$y (7/30)
  • HELMET (8/6)
  • Manchester Orchestra (8/7)
  • Toadies (8/13)
  • Broken Bells (10/2)
  • AFI (10/9)
  • Chromeo (10/14)
  • Brand New (Sold out, 10/21)
  • Julian Casablancas (10/28)

WORKPLAY

  • Delta Spirit (9/16)
  • Jimmy Eat World (10/27)

Cask & Drum, October 11 (tix here)

  • GIRL TALK
  • Lucero
  • Drive-By Truckers
  • Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires
  • Wild Cub
  • Drew Holcomb
  • Houndmouth

Secret Stages (August 1 & 2): Follow through to their site for the full lineup, in the interest of not leaving any of the astounding number of acts out who hail from all over Alabama & the South. Great problem to have, if you ask us! Our picks though? John Paul Keith, Green Seed, Pujol & Looksy.

BOTTLETREE:

  • King Buzzo of the Melvins (7/23)
  • HIGH FIVE FEST III (8/9) —–> Banditos, Shaheed & DJ Supreme, Wray, Arclight, In Snow, beitthemeans and Secret Midnight Band
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (8/14)
  • Comedian Jon Hodgman (9/7)
  • Pinback (9/8)
  • Real Estate (9/21)
  • J. Mascis (9/30)
  • POLIÇA (10/7)
  • Twin Shadow (10/18)

 

Summer Music Series: KING CARNIVORE “Endless Summer”

The guys in King Carnivore have long been my favs. Carson Mitchell (Dirty Lungs), Scotty Lee (//GT), keen engineer Michael Shackelford and the incomparable Ra Jaan Parmely (every band) have decided to record their live sessions and share them as much as possible this summer.

“It will be an ongoing thing”, Carson says, “where we write, record and film a song in one session and put it up that night.”

What a perfect way to kick off my summer music series than to show some love to their first live session, entitled “Endless Summer”. Watch their video below and follow them on Facebook for more sessions like these. I’ve also posted some of their songs from a while back, so if you’ve been on the hunt for something different to listen to… I got you. Makes me very happy music like this is coming out of Birmingham!