Sunday, September 9, 2012

How Far Can The Once Mighty Fall?

Growing up on Long Island back in the 70's it was all about the southern rock.  Hard to believe, but for a few short years at least, Long Island existed  below the musical Mason-Dixon line.  A pre-right wing Charlie Daniels, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Allman Brothers, The Outlaws and especially Lynyrd Skynyrd.  I did and still do love each and every one of the records that came out of this time period.  Some acts, the Allman Brothers come to mind, have made some pretty good records since the hey day years of 1975-1980.  Some have shut it down and some have become a parody of what they once were (I love ya Charlie but could care less about your politics and your guns).

The one that hurts the most is Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Over the past twenty years I have listened to one of my all time favorite groups, one whose music was often misunderstood, turn into some cheap version of itself.  I thought it couldn't get worse than their last album God & Guns (Ronnie must be rollin' in his grave over that one - those old songs like Saturday Night Special were anti-gun!).  It's a Synyrrrrd Naaaation!  Uh, nope.
That brings us to the new album "Last of a Dying Breed".  With sole surviving original member Gary Rossington, Lynyrd Skynyrd has completed their transformation from genre defining innovators to standard issue modern day "country" act that is long on checklist songs and short on originality.  And I say "country" because much of what is coming out of Nashville these days has more in common with Nickelback than Hank my friends.

You want to keep making music?  Fine with me, just change the name.  This album has nothing to do with what was once America's greatest Rock & Roll band.  No southern fried hippies here...just Tea Party anthems and songs about chicks and sweet tea.

Maybe I'm too critical.  I might be missing the point.  I don't think so but maybe.  Decide for your self. 
New Skynyrd
 Old Skynyrd

For me the the choice is easy.  I'll go back to Second Helping or One More From The Road for my Southern Rock fix.  Nothing to hear here...move along.

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