Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Second Helping

The next record album in my series on enduringly great discs from the early seventies is Second Helping by Lynyrd Skynyrd. This album along with their first record Pronounced pretty much defined the sound of this exciting and original rock n' roll band from Florida.

Lynyrd Skynyrd started out as a local bar band in Jacksonville that were brought into the national limelight by Bob Dylan's former keyboardist Al Kooper who first discovered them and then produced their first three albums on MCA.

Second Helping
introduced some of their most famous concert anthems including the sarcastically toned paean to Southern headneckery "Sweet Home Alabama" as well as "Don't Ask Me No Questions" and "They Call Me the Breeze".

My two favorite songs are "Swamp Music" and "The Ballad of Curtis Loew", both of which show Skynyrd to be a deeply Southern band that owes much of their identity and sound to "the black man's blues" as well the rich cultural roots of their home region. Their three lead guitar attack was unequaled by any other band before or since. I sure do miss 'em.

Going down to the swamp
Gonna watch me a hound dog catch a 'coon

Well, I'm going down to the swamp

Gonna watch me a hound dog catch a 'coon

You know the hound dog make a music

On a summer night under a full moon

Fetch my cane pole mama

Gonna catch a bream or maybe two

Fetch my cane pole mama

Gonna catch a bream or maybe two

And when the hound dog starts barkin'
Sounds like ol' Son House singin' the blues

This was one of my favorite albums in high school and I still like it just as much today. It just plain rocks. What more could you want from a head-banging rock record?

The boys in the band on the curb in Jacksonville (1972).

Next record: Mott by Mott the Hoople. Stay tuned.


Devastatin' Dave said...

Don't know if it was on this album, but Simple Man is one of my favorite songs by any group.

Also, you gotta love the tall boys those guys are knocking back in the photo.

beamis said...

Simple Man is from Pronounced (their first LP).

Drinking tall boys on the curb would probably get you arrested today. Or at least court ordered into an Alcohol Awareness program.