Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stillwater - I Reserve The Right (1979)

Stillwater were one of the classic bands on the Capricorn label. That's classic Southern Rock for ya. And this album has it all: great songs, excellent arrangements, terrific guitar picking, plain good vocals and all. Not much left to say after posting several albums before this one. And this one might just be the best of 'em all. The title track is one of the finest Southern Rock tracks ever and should find its place on some compilation, if justice is served. Yes, in my opinion, it's even better than 'Mind bender' from their debut album. The final track is 'Ain't We A Pair', featuring duet vocals from the incomparable miss Bonnie Bramlett. This has everything Southern Rock needs; it's not too soft, not too Country, not too loud, it's got everything just right. And this is a real nice rip as well. If you just started digging into Southern Rock history, this is definitely one to have. And get it now! Fair warning?

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Commercial break: SweetKiss Momma

So, this is a review and recommendation. I don't do much of those, since I don't do this for a job (nope, not making any money here) and I don't like to commit myself to reviewing all the time. Unless I can share the music, that is. But I gladly make an exception for Sweetkiss Momma. The album they sent me, 'A Reckoning Is Coming', is their second. The first was released in 2010 and very well received. Well, this one should do just fine as well. I really enjoyed taking this for a couple of spins. And it's still growing on me.

Though these cats hail from Washington, the sound is definitely steeped deeply in our favorite musical genre. Maybe sometimes leaning more towards Americana/Roots Rock, this should well please any Southern Rock fan. All songs are good, the music has a pleasant muddy, rootsy sound (all in a good way!) and the playing and singing very nice indeed. But judge for yourself, and listen to their acoustic version of "Breathe Rebel" (also done electric on this CD). Then check out their title track "A Reckoning Is Coming" (some definite Allman influences). How about that?! Like it? Support the band and go buy it! This band should surely find an audience with readers of Skydog's Elysium. Get some love ;-)

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Blue Steel - No More Lonely Nights (1979)

This is Blue Steel's first album, released in 1979, and quite a nice rocking little album. Hailed from Texas, this is nothing like ZZ Top. Instead you get a tight, sometimes slightly Poppy but very pleasing slice of vinyl (courtesy of Luc and cleaned up by yours truly). It's not so much the songs that shout out Southern Rock. The playing very much is, though. There's Rock, Pop, Rock & Roll, and a nice hats off to Waylon & Willie. But I love the playing, especially the guitars accompanying these tracks. Everything else is quite ion order as well. I might not take this with me if I had to spend the rest of my life on a deserted island, but this is hardly punishment to the ears. If you like your songs short and sweet, well-written and well-performed, then this might be your cup of tea. If not, there's always one or two songs on this record that would make for a nice addition to your own Southern Rock compilation (best played in you car). Twist one up.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Duane & Gregg Allman - Duane & Gregg Allman (1969)


Some more history for you Southern Rock scholars. This is where Duane and Gregg Allman (spelled Greg for this release) found themselves after their adventures in California with The Hour Glass and right before they started The Allman Brothers Band. A departure from the dictated course set out by their former employees, this is getting fairly close to what would eventually become known as Southern Rock. This is basically Duane and Gregg jamming with the guys from the 31st Of February (notably Butch Trucks, among others), around the same time they met up with a band called The Second Coming, featuring a guitarist by the name of Dickey Betts. They would soon start jamming together, which would give birth to The Allman Brothers Band. Yes, they're the founding fathers alright. Initially not meant for release, this was brought out in 1973 at the height of The Allmans popularity.
Musically this still has one foot firmly planted in their repertoire with The Hour Glass, while at the same time we notice some uneasy steps towards the more familiar sounding structures that The Allmans would lay down. Of greatest interest must be an early version of one of Gregg's sweetest songs, "Melissa", here surfacing for the first time (slightly different from the popular version). If you're interested in how Southern Rock grew to what it is today, I guess this is essential. Well I know too well...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

History of Southern Rock


 

Very nice documentary on Southern Rock. Not the full story, but the story told is told very well. Basic but essential Southern Rock knowledge.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Wet Willie - The Bottom Line (1977)

Wet Willie live at The Bottom Line is a great soundboard, with the band sounding at their hottest. This is an excellent recording and features their finest tunes, like "Keep On Smilin'", "Street Corner Serenade" and "Country Side Of Life". Really, what can I say that I haven't already said about Wet Willie? These guys are the kings of Southern Soul Rock and this show will surely spice up the evening. Jimmy Hall's in great form, as is the whole band. Dixie Rock!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Creed - Creed (1978)

Don't be fooled by the name, this is the Southern Rock band from the 70's. Very much on the Hard Rock side of the Southern Rock spectrum, this is a rocking good album. Maybe the vocals aren't spectacular, they do the job. But the songs and the playing is all alright. Besides the mandatory good guitar picking, some really nice and tasteful keyboards/synths. This is late 70's rock at its very 70's. Creed were from Memphis and only released another EP before disbanding (though they do play the occasional reunion show). Steve Ingle would later make his appearance on "Down In The Dirt" by the Delta Rebels and Hal Butler would work with Jimi Jamison (of Survivor and Target). You want fireworks? It's a Firecracker!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sweet Salvation - Sweet Salvation (1972)


It's funny with this album. I been meaning to make a rip of this album since I started writing this blog, just never got round to it. Cause it's such a nice record with a great mix of Soul, Rock, Gospel and what have you. But completely missing that it had been circulating on the net since 2010. It was even posted on one of my favorite blogs, The Basement Rug, where you can read a lot about this release and its origin. So, I'll just quote this bit: "Led by long-established New Orleans musicians drummer “Big John” John Thomassie, keyboard player Wayne DeVillier and guitarist Don Normand, Sweet Salvation could have been one of the all-time great r&b/funk/rock/gospel bands. Unfortunately due to business mis-steps and bad timing it was not meant to be. Also featuring 2 great women singers, DeEtta Little and Fritz Basket, and Alex Smith on bass, Sweet Salvation covered ground that includes New Orleans second line, blues, r&b, rock and 70€²s funk. They were very much connected to Allen Toussaint and the Meters, but maybe heavier in sound and style, closer to rock."
Apparently, this has also been released on CD. And the rip included here is not the one yet circulating but my own. Oh well, can't get enough of a good thing? Stick with me ;-)

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Jimmy Hall - Cadillac Tracks (1982)

"Cadillac Tracks" is the second solo album by Jimmy Hall, the voice of Wet Willie. This is 1982 and it shows (audio-wise that is ;)). There's not much left of the Wet Willie sound either. Instead, what you get is a decent Southern tinged Pop Rock album. But, admittedly, a good few well crafted tunes, and musically everything is tip-top. Mostly covers, of which several had also been recorded by other artists around this time. My favorites are the two that had Jimmy's hand in writing; "Cadillac Tracks" and "Make A Miracle". But it's a really nice Pop Rock album. And Jimmy is one of the finest vocalists in Southern Rock. It's your move.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Downloading a virus? Not really...

I had several people asking me about downloading from Uploading.com, since it wants you to download with the accelerator. Apparently some virus scanners consider the accelerator to be a virus or malware. However, if you follow the steps below, it should allow you to download regularly. I don't know whether your browser of choice has any influence on it working like this. I use Firefox and it works for me like this: as soon as you open the Uploading.com page, uncheck the box and wait for the countdown to finish. Then you can click 'download file now' without using the accelerator. Hope this helps ;)


Some more information/explanation can be found here: Reputation of uploading.com and DL Accelerator Adware uploading.com (TSULoader) Does that help?

Friday, January 03, 2014

Rich Mountain Tower - Can't You Feel It? (1976)

Okay, here is number three by Rich Mountain Tower. Or actually their second, but third on this blog. My first posts were well received, so I hope this one will please you just as much. Musically it fits right in with the other two and it's a very nice hippie-esque Souhern Rock album. Good songs, sweet harmonies, great playing. To start off this new year, I say happy new year all! Hundred blessings ;-)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Rusty Wier - Rusty & Son (1999)

It's been some time since I last posted some Rusty Wier, but I'm more than making up for that right now (and a big thank you Frank for that). This is Rusty playing with son Coby, doing a live show that's as good as it gets. It'll put a smirk on your face as well, for Rusty's quite the storyteller with a great sense of humor. For your convenience, I would classify this as Outlaw Country, though musically there's a lot of similarities to Southern Rock. Tasty picking, characteristic vocals, good songs, great vibe. Eight songs making up for 58 minutes of good time music. Not much I can add to what I said in previous posts, but this is by no means any less than his best. Quervo's Gold?

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Outlaws - Live At Reading (1986)

A nice set of Classic Southern Rock for you here, to warm your hearts during the holidays. Almost classic Outlaws line-up as well, since this show features both Hughie Thomasson and Henry Paul. Excellent recording of The Outlaws promoting their 1986 album "Soldiers Of Fortune", this is what Southern Rock was meant to sound like. Makes me wonder if any new bands are playing Southern Rock like this. You know, with lots of attention being given to arrangement, big intros, sweet harmonies... And whatever happened to that "One An Outlaw" album?! Anyhoo, this is The Outlaws at their very best. Just the way I like it. ;)

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Bonnie Bramlett - Sweet Bonnie Bramlett (1973)

I haven't posted much Bonnie Bramlett before, but this was requested. So, here you have. It's Bonnie's first solo album and it's a very Soulful affair. Not my rip and I'm hoping for an upgrade in the future. Nevertheless, this is the voice alright. You might know her from her work with Delaney, you might know her for being the only white Ikette, but diehard Southern Rock fans will surely know her from contributions as a back-up singer for many Southern Rock releases in the 70's. And what a voice this woman has! Though this rip of the album is somewhat crackly, it's still well-worth checking out. Fired up Southern Soul Rock, guaranteed to show you a good time. And Bonnie Bramlett is still a force to be reckoned with. For those of you reluctant getting this: if you dig Wet Willie, you will surely dig this as well! Good vibrations!