Southern Rock Edition - Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Bros, Molly Hatchet, Marshall Tucker Band

We listen to recently-released live albums from Southern rock stalwarts Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers Band, the Marshall Tucker Band and Molly Hatchet.

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Lyve!: Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour
If you saw Lynyrd Skynyrd in concert at any point during their lengthy farewell tour, this recording presents the set list that the band used for those shows. Recorded before a hometown crowd in Jacksonville in 2018, the performance features all the group's hits along with a couple of album cuts like "Skynyrd Nation" and "Red White & Blue." With Johnny Van Zant on vocals and Rickey Medlocke, Gary Rossington and Mark "Sparky" Matejka bringing the triple threat on guitars, the band rocks hard, like the well-polished act that they are. All fan faves are here: "That Smell," "Gimme Three Steps," "Sweet Home Alabama," "What's Your Name," "Saturday Night Special," "That Smell," "Tuesday's Gone," "Simple Man" and of course the classic Southern rock anthem "Free Bird" to close the show. This 2CD 17-song concert is a must-have for Skynyrd fans.

The Allman Brothers Band - Fillmore West '71
Only guitarist Dickey Betts and drummer Jaimoe remain alive from the band's classic lineup that performed the shows included here; guitarist Duane Allman, singer and organist Gregg Allman, bass man Berry Oakley and drummer Butch Trucks have all passed away. Included are three shows recorded at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore West presented here on four CDs; the set lists vary slightly with shorter songs "Statesboro Blues," "Trouble No More" and "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'" opening each show. After that the jams begin with lengthy takes on "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," "Dreams," "You Don't Love Me" and "Whipping Post" among them. Plenty of great slide guitar from Duane and duels between Duane and Dickey; even a take on "Hoochie Coochie Man" with Jaimoe on vocals can be found here. A satisfying release for all Allman Brothers Band fans and a definite must-have for completists.

The Marshall Tucker Band - New Year's in New Orleans: Roll up '78 and Light up '79!
Here's a great vintage concert from the Tucker boys --- Toy and Tommy Caldwell, Doug Gray, George McCorkle, Paul Riddle and Jerry Eubanks --- at the height of their popularity. The show begins with "Fly Like an Eagle," quite appropriate since the band is soaring for the rest of the concert as they count down to midnight on New Year's Eve. Likely every toe in the place was tappin' like crazy as the band ripped through the fast instrumental "Long Hard Ride," Toy breaks out the pedal steel for favorite "Fire on the Mountain" and big hit "Heard it in a Love Song" begs for a sing-along. The jazzy "Dream Lover," new at the time and from the Together Forever album, precedes "Blue Ridge Mountain Skies," dedicated to the band's hometown fans back in Spartanburg, SC, and "Can't You See" plays out over six minutes. Album cuts like "Hillbilly Band" and "This Ol' Cowboy" lead up to a 13-minute jam on "24 Hours at a Time" and the countdown to 1979, after which the guys play an instrumental version of "Auld Lang Syne." The show ends with "I'll Be Loving You," "Searchin' for a Rainbow" and the country/gospel chestnut "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."

Molly Hatchet - Battleground
Hatchet has seen many lineup changes over the years, some of which were necessitated by a band member's death. That's the situation with this 2019 live album where new lead singer Jimmy Elkins replaces the recently-deceased Phil McCormack. Elkins sounds quite a bit like original Hatchet vocalist Danny Joe Brown, so fans should really dig this full-length concert which also features longtime guitarist Bobby Ingram, who is red-hot throughout. Elkins clearly revels singing "do you know that $500 will get your head blown off?" on opening cut "Bounty Hunter" where he follows up the query with a manic laugh. A rowdy take on "Whiskey Man" along with cuts including "Son of the South," the ominous "Edge of Sundown," "Devil's Canyon" and "The Creeper" fill out the first half of the 19-song show; among the songs coming late in the set are hits and favorites "Beatin' the Odds," Allman Brothers Band cover "Dreams I'll Never See" and closing cut "Flirtin' with Disaster."

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