CruCon Cruise Outlet Main StageGreg and The Morning Buzz Welcomes
LYNYRD SKYNYRD & THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND
The Mallett Brothers Band
Magic Hat StageDusty Gray Band (5:00 PM)
Extra InformationParking Opens: 4:00 PM
Doors Open: 5:00 PM
Audio Recording: No
Video Recording: No
Flash Photography: No
Food & Drink: No
*Non-Professional photography / no zoom lenses larger than 2 inches / no detachable lenses
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|Reserved Seating (Covered Pavilion)-P1||$53.00||$6.75||$59.75|
|Reserved Seating (Covered Pavilion)-P2||$44.00||$5.75||$49.75|
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Legendary rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd returns with a fiery slice of Southern style guitar rock heaven in Last of a Dyin’ Breed, their newest release on Roadrunner/Loud & Proud Records due August 21, 2012. This is the kind of record guaranteed to feed the needs of the multi-generational Skynyrd Nation, and continue the renewed vigor the band exhibited with their last album, 2009’s God & Guns.
For the passionate, longtime fans of the band, this is Skynyrd at the top of their game, complete with instantly memorable songs, more hooks than a tackle box, and a blistering three-guitar attack at full power. From the raging guitars of the title track and the pounding, funky homage to local talent in “Home Grown” to the mind-blowing “Honey Hole,” Lynyrd Skynyrd sound like young bucks having one hell of a good time, which, regarding the latter, founding member Gary Rossington says is very much the case. “For me this is one of the happiest and most fun albums I’ve ever done,” says Rossington. “We didn’t have a lot of problems goin’ on; it was just fun goin’ to work every day.”
Having survived enough tragedy and just plain hard miles for 10 bands, Skynyrd is, remarkably at this stage of their career, on a roll. God & Guns debuted at #18 on the Billboard Top 200, giving the band their highest debut since 1977. Last Of A Dyin’ Breed re-ignites the in-studio alchemy the band found with Guns producer Bob Marlette, and the sound is traditional Skynyrd blended to perfection with the edge of immediacy. In short, it’s rock ‘n roll for the times.
Led by core members Gary Rossington (guitar), Johnny Van Zant (vocals) and Rickey Medlock (guitar), Skynyrd has recorded an album that continues to build on the legacy that began over 35 years ago in Jacksonville, Florida. Joining them in the studio and on the road are new bassist Johnny Colt (Black Crowes, Train) guitarist Mark “Sparky” Matejka (a “Nashville cat, just a pickin’ fool,” according to Rossington), and keyboardist Peter Keys, who replaced Powell on the God & Guns tour.
In a tragic tale oft-told, the Skynyrd story could have ended in a Mississippi swamp with the 1977 plane crash that killed three band members, including Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines. Since then, the band has lost vital players in Billy Powell, Ean Evans, Allen Collins, Leon Wilkeson and Hughie Thomasson, yet here they are again with a hard-rocking, stirring album that can sit proudly alongside any recording that bears the Skynyrd name. The breed may be nearing extinction but Skynyrd is very much alive and ready to throw down.
Van Zant, now in his 25th year standing where his brother once stood agrees with Rossington about the making of Breed. “We worked with Bob Marlette again who’s a great guy we just love as a producer,” he says. “During the recording of the last album we were going through Billy and Ean passing away, and with this album we were able to laugh and joke a lot.”
Medlock says that after the hard touring behind God & Guns he and the other primary writers Van Zant and Rossington took their time writing the songs. But the actual recording came together quickly, aided by the band’s in-studio chemistry. “This time what we wanted to do was go back to doin’ stuff old school,” he says. “A lot of the album was done with all of us in the recording studio, playing all at one time, the way we used to do it when we’d go into the studio to make records.”
With a catalog of over 60 albums, sales beyond 30 million worldwide and their beloved classic American rock anthem “Sweet Home Alabama” having sold over two million ringtones, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Lynyrd Skynyrd remains a cultural icon that appeals to multiple generations. But far from resting on their laurels, any illusions that this may be a band at anything less than the height of its powers are quickly lost with the distorted fury of the fiery guitar licks that open the album’s title track and further put to rest with the gritty triumphs that follow.
They could easily continue cranking out old songs to rapturous audiences around the world but the fact is they’ve got plenty left to say musically, personally and as social commentary. “Every once in a while the record label will ask us if we want to put a new album out and we always say yes, because, although we love playing all the classic stuff, it’s fun to do new stuff too,” says Rossington, “for our own heads, our own peace of mind.”
Lynyrd Skynyrd is a band of today, carrying a steely mantle forged in the sweaty confines of the Hell House in Jacksonville decades earlier. And this is a band album, to be even more specific, a guitar driven band album. The triple guitar assault has never sounded more on point, with passionate musicality, expert harmonics and of course, plenty of attitude to burn. There’s a reason this is one of the most beloved bands of all time.
“We tried to go back to the old sound, doin’ it as a band, goin’ in all together and layin’ it down,” says Rossington. “On the last album, we leaned a little more country, back to our roots, but this time we just tried to be our old selves and write some Southern rock. Just good ol’ songs, get in and get out, say what they say, do a little bit of pickin’ and tap your feet.”
Those searching for traditional Skynyrd solos and fierce instrumental breaks will have plenty to love on Breed, with every song featuring ample fretwork from one, two or even all three guitarists. “We love to do the harmonies and stuff with lead guitars,” says Medlock. “That’s a Skynyrd staple, and we embellished on it quite a bit this time around. We wanted to make a guitar driven record and have the vocals sit really good in the saddle there with all the guitars, just have it more rockin’ and a lot more powerful.”
Mission accomplished, with plenty of fireworks and rock-solid rhythms from all players. “Sparky has just fit in great with Rickey and Gary, everybody knows their place now,” says Van Zant. “Sparky’s a strat guy, Gary’s a slide guy with the Les Paul sound and all those great fills, and Rickey’s the ‘all-around’ guy that does a little bit of everything.”
But the guitars and other instruments—Keys’ organ, for example, play a vital role in the soundscape. Van Zant’s vocal chops and way with a lyric have never been in finer form, breathing life into these songs and taking on some serious vocal challenges. “I quit smokin’ a year and a half ago, so that helped out quite a bit,” he says with a characteristic laugh. “Workin’ with Bob is great too. We cut the vocals right in the control room itself, which is real cool to me, because me and Bob go back and forth right there, so you’re not waiting for a button to be pushed. It’s just a real cool vibe. We’ve got a good thing goin’ here.”
They’ve got a good thing going in terms of material, too. The primary Skynyrd writing team of Rossington, Medlock and Van Zant worked with some of their favorite songwriters to pen the songs that populate Breed, including Tom Hambridge, Blair Daly, John 5, Donnie Van Zant, and Marlette, along with contributions from the bands Matejka, as well as Marlon Young, Audley Freed, Shaun Morgan from Seether, Cadillac Black’s Jaren Johnston, and label mates Black Stone Cherry’s Chris Robertson and Jon Lawhon.
The blend of writers from within and outside the band concocts a hard-hitting cadre of songs that fit perfectly into the Skynyrd canon. These songs are of the 100-proof variety. “We like bringing in outside influences and I love feeding off other people,” says Van Zant. “I’ve had people ask me, ‘how could Gary create another ‘Free Bird?’ We don’t even try that. Those are legendary songs. We just write what we write. It’s more about us just hangin’ out and being together and enjoying life and writin’ songs. My theory is like Ricky Nelson’s, ‘you can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself.’ If you’re happy with it at the end of the day, so be it.”
Not as overtly political as its predecessor God & Guns, Breed focuses more on the struggles of the working class, though the band make their thoughts on the direction of this country crystal clear on songs like the reverb-drenched “Poor Man’s Dream” and the blue-collar powerhouse “One Day at a Time.” “When we go in to record, we don’t go in with one certain mindset,” says Medlock. “We just go in and write about stuff we believe in, our experiences.”
The band is tuned in to the tough times many Americans are going through, and they sing songs that might well help on that journey, or at least help let off some steam. “Skynyrd really thinks about how people are struggling and what’s goin’ on out here,” says Medlock. “We see it a lot, because we’re a working man and working woman’s band. We’ve got three generations under our belts, we know people have a tough time out there, and we share in that.”
Gary Rossington won’t typically volunteer for political talk but he is an astute observer, and what he sees sticks in his craw. “I don’t like to talk politics,” he admits “I just don’t trust a lot of politicians. I think the country’s way off track, but we’ll get it back on, it’s too good of a thing to lose. We travel all around the country, there’s too many good people and good Americans who all want the same thing, just to get back on track the way we used to be.”
Like it or not, with a title like God & Guns, the previous album was bound to be a lightning rod out of the box. “I couldn’t believe how well God & Guns was accepted when it came out, in Europe, Australia, South America, here in the States; everybody we talked to, 99% of it was positive feedback,” says Medlock. “My whole thing was, we’ve got to go in the studio this time and step up, we’ve got to do at least what God & Guns did, or one better. And, in my opinion, I think we accomplished that. I’m looking forward to going out and playing some of this record live, along with our classic material, and taking it to the people and letting the people make their decision.”
Odds are, the “people,” specifically, the aforementioned Skynyrd Nation, will love Last of a Dyin’ Breed, and anyone who hasn’t checked into what this band has been up to for a while will likely be blown away. As for their part, Skynyrd will, per usual, indeed be taking their music to the people, as fans in Europe and North America will have a chance to catch the band on tour through the end of 2012 and beyond.
The Charlie Daniels Band
“Few individuals have symbolized the South in popular culture as directly and indelibly as Charlie Daniels.”
Charlie Daniels is partly Western and partly Southern. His signature “bull rider” hat and belt buckle, his lifestyle on the Twin Pines Ranch (a boyhood dream come true), his love of horses, cowboy lore and the heroes of championship rodeo, Western movies, and Louis L'Amour novels, identify him as a Westerner. The son of a lumberjack and a Southerner by birth, his music - rock, country, bluegrass, blues, and gospel – is quintessentially Southern. In fact, even his bent for all things Western is Southern, because his attire, his lifestyle and his interests are historically emblematic of Southern working class solidarity with the “lone cowboy” individualism of the American West. It hasn't been so much a style of music, but more the values consistently reflected in several styles that has connected Charlie Daniels with millions of fans. For decades, he has steadfastly refused to label his music as anything other than “CDB music,” music that is now sung around the fire at 4-H Club and scout camps, helped elect an American President, and been popularized on a variety of radio formats.
Like so many great American success stories, The Charlie Daniels saga begins in rural obscurity. Born in 1936 in Wilmington, North Carolina, he was raised on a musical diet that included Pentecostal gospel, local bluegrass bands, and the rhythm & blues and country music emanating respectively from Nashville's 50,000-watt mega broadcasters WLAC and WSM.
He graduated from high school in 1955 and soon enlisted in the rock .n' roll revolution ignited by Mississippian Elvis Aaron Presley. Already skilled on guitar, fiddle and mandolin, Daniels formed a rock n' roll band and hit the road.
While in route to California in 1959 the group paused in Texas to record “Jaguar,” an instrumental produced by the Bob Johnston, which was picked up for national distribution by Epic. It was also the beginning for a long association with Johnston. The two wrote “It Hurts Me,” which became the B side of a 1964 Presley hit. In 1969, at the urging of Johnston, Daniels moved to middle Tennessee to find work as a session guitarist in Nashville.
Among his more notable sessions were the Bob Dylan albums of 1969-70 Nashville Skyline, New Morning, and Self Portrait. Daniels produced the Youngbloods albums of 1969-70 Elephant Mountain and Ride the Wind, toured Europe with Leonard Cohen and performed on records with artists as different as Al Kooper and Marty Robbins.
Daniels broke through as a record maker, himself, with 1973's Honey In the Rock and its hit hippie song “Uneasy Rider.” His rebel anthems “Long Haired Country Boy” and “The South's Gonna Do It” propelled his 1975 collection Fire On the Mountain to Double Platinum status.
Following stints with Capitol and Kama Sutra, Epic Records signed him to its rock roster in New York in 1976. The contract, reportedly worth $3 million, was the largest ever given to a Nashville act up to that time. In the summer of 1979 Daniels rewarded the company's faith by delivering “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which became a Platinum single, topped both country and pop charts, won a Grammy Award, became an international phenomenon, earned three Country Music Association trophies, became a cornerstone of the Urban Cowboy movie soundtrack and propelled Daniel's Million Mile Reflections album to Triple Platinum sales levels.
The album's title was a reference to a milestone in The Charlie Daniels Band's legendary coast to coast tours. Including two drummers, twin guitars, and a flamenco dancer, the CDB often toured more than 250 days a year and by this time had logged more than a million miles on the road. On the Million Mile Reflections Tour, transported in a convoy of busses and gleaming black tractor-trailer rigs - a show that stopped traffic all over the country - the band now included a full horn section, back-up singers, a troupe of clog dancers and sometimes a gospel choir. By 1981, the Charlie Daniels Band had twice been voted the Academy of Country Music's Touring Band of the Year.
Daniels' annual Volunteer Jam concerts, world-famous musical extravaganzas that served as a prototype for many of today's annual day-long music marathons, always featured a variety of current stars and heritage artists and are considered by historians as his most impressive contribution to Southern music. Among the artists “Jam Daddy” has hosted at 16 of these mega musical samplers are Roy Acuff, Don Henley, Tanya Tucker, Amy Grant, Leon Russell, Billy Ray Cyrus, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, James Brown, Duane Eddy, Pat Boone, The Outlaws, Dwight Yoakam, Steppenwolf, Bill Monroe, Exile, The Judds, Orleans, Willie Nelson, the Allman Brothers, Link Wray, Ted Nugent, Billy Joel, the Marshall Tucker Band, Solomon Burke, Little Richard, B. B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eugene Fodor, Woody Herman, and Bobby Jones and the New Life Singers.
“I used to say, .I'm not an outlaw; I'm an outcast,'” says the Grammy Award winning star. “When it gets right down to the nitty gritty, I've just tried to be who I am. I've never followed trends or fads. I couldn't even if I tried. I can't be them; I can't be anybody but me.”
When you hear a classic Charlie Daniels Band performance like “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” you hear music that knows no clear genre. Is it a folk tale? A southern boogie? A country fiddle tune? An electric rock anthem? The answer is, “yes” to all of that and more. And the same goes for “In America,” “Uneasy Rider,” “The South's Gonna Do It,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” “Still in Saigon,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp,” and the rest of a catalog that spans 50 years of record making and represents more than 20 million in sales.
His resume includes recording sessions with artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Flatt & Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Mark O'Connor, Leonard Cohen and Ringo Starr. His songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley and Tammy Wynette. This touring legend has been documented by ABC Newsmagazine 20/20.
In April 1998, top stars and two former Presidents paid tribute to Daniels when he was named the recipient of the Pioneer Award at the Academy of Country Music's annual nationally televised ceremonies.
“In his time he's played everything from rock to jazz, folk to western swing, and honkytonk to award-winning gospel”, former President Jimmy Carter said. “In Charlie's own words, .Let there be harmony, let there be fun and 12 notes of music to make us all one.'”
“Charlie's love of music is only surpassed by his love of people, especially the American people,” former President Gerald Ford said. “He's traveled this land from coast to coast singing about the things that concern the American people. The Academy of Country Music's Pioneer Award is presented to a supremely talented compassionate and proud American, and a fair to middlin' golfer, too!”
November 19th Charlie was surprised with an invitation to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was hosting his annual Christmas For Kids benefit show at the historic Ryman Auditorium when Opry member Martina McBride delivered the surprise Opry invitation. After McBride walked on stage with what appeared to be a Christmas gift for Daniels, she opened the small box she was holding to reveal a Christmas card reading: “Peace, joy, love, and wishes fulfilled. These are the timeless treasures of Christmas. Thank you, Charlie, for all you’ve done to make Christmas wishes come true for thousands of children through the years. Now it’s time to make a wish come true for you, too. You’re officially invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Merry Christmas!” Daniels backed away, overcome with emotion while the crowd exploded with applause. “I cannot even begin to tell you folks…this is very emotional for me,” said Daniels. “I never ever in my wildest dreams when I came to Nashville with my precious wife and son dreamed that this would happen. To think that now my name will be added along with all these great country artists. Thank you.”
On Saturday night, January 19th, 2008, Charlie's lifelong dream became a reality. He was inducted as a full-fledged member into the Grand Ole Opry. “It is an honor that I can't begin to articulate, there is no way I can express what it means to me”, says Daniels. “And to make it special, I was joined on stage by Russell Palmer, the man who taught me my first guitar chords all those years ago.” “I pursued my dream in music and by the goodness of God have been able to have a wonderful career, which has spanned fifty years”.
“I have been blessed with Gold, Platinum and Multiplatinum albums, I have appeared many times on network television, even in moving pictures. I have won multiple awards from The Country Music Association, The Academy of Country Music, The Gospel Music Association and even a Grammy. I have even played on the Grand Ole Opry many times. But I was always on the outside looking in. I was always a guest, never a member.”