Sunday, September 16, 2012

CD Review - Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Last of a Dying Breed"



 
I like a wide variety of music and I know how I like it to sound.  I like my blues to be sexy and deep, I like my country traditional, I like my bluegrass to be finger-popping and fun, and I like my classic rock to hum and thrum with tight harmonies and an infectious beat.

But when it comes to Southern rock, I want it to be down and dirty, with blistering guitars, heart-stopping basslines, and lyrics that reach down into a Southern gal’s soul and hits the mark everytime.

And one of my favorite Southern rock bands is Lynyrd Skynyrd – the boys from Florida who captured the sound of the South and brought it to the world.

Everyone knows their classic songs – “Freebird,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and “Simple Man.” They are the anthems of the South. 
 
 
 
 

With their new album, “Last Of A Dying Breed,” the band’s cooking like never before with an album of 11 new songs that reflect their Southern roots, their love of country, mommas and rock n’ roll.

Here’s a breakdown of the some of the songs on this album that really pleased my ear and my thoughts on them:

Last of A Dying Breed –This song kicks off the album with a bang and a slide guitar that sets your heart to pumping and your foot to tapping. 

Homegrown – a salute to sassy, flirty Southern gals. A fun song with plenty of attitude.

Ready to Fly – heartfelt and borders on being a rockin’ little gospel number!

Mississippi Blood – this song finds guest artist Jerry Douglas (of Alison Krause’s Union Station Band) pitching in with some sharp licks and Johnny Van Zant and Rickey Medlocke trading vocals.  This one will get stuck in your head!

Something To Live For – soulful, heart-wrenching lyrics, and an anthem to find something good to believe in.  Excellent!

Life’s Twisted and Nothing Comes Easy – Johnny Van Zant growls his way through the lyrics of these two songs, giving them the tenacity and respect that the lessons of the lyrics demand.

Honey Hole – Now here is the grit, the dirty guitars, and the sly passion that Skynyrd is known for.  Loved this one!  (and loved the little bird trill at the end – reminiscent of Freebird!)

Start Living Life Again – oh my, Jerry Douglas once again lends his crying dobro sound to this soulful and bluesy number. 



 


Johnny Van Zant is in fine voice for this album. The triple guitars of Gary Rossington, Rickey Medlocke and Mark Matejka are blistering when they need be, and restrained and proper when necessary.  The rhythm foundation of John Colt (formerly of The Black Crowes and Train) on bass and Mark Cartellone on drums is tight and kicking. And the backing vocals of Carol Chase and Dale Rossington are just the feminine touch this good ol’ boy album needs.

This is the first Skynyrd Album that does not include the late/great Billy Powell on keyboards and his honky-tonk styling is sorely missed. However, his replacement, Peter Keys does a good job of playing keyboards. It’s just not Billy though.

 
RECOMMENDATION:

Overall, “Last Of A Dying Breed” is a album full of good-time, rockin’ fun. Think of it as not so much smooth as a fine glass of wine, but as jolting as a shot of tequila, salt and lime. 
 
It revs you up and set your senses up to roar down the highway.  That’s what Southern rock is all about and Lynyrd Skynyrd is epitome of that sound and that way of life.

I highly recommend this album!


Disclaimer:

My thanks to Roadrunner Records for supplying the review copy of this album. I was not compensated for my opinion.

 

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