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The Special Edition With 4 Bonus Tracks = 15 Tracks of BRAND NEW "GUITAR ORIENTED" MATERIAL FROM SKYNYRD.
on August 23, 2012
This review is based on the Special Edition, which includes 4 bonus tracks & expanded packaging. It is not a review of the "Special Fan Pack" which includes 2 other bonus songs. It can be obtained through Amazon or Best Buy. As far as the music goes, this is very guitar oriented, 100% Pure American Southern Rock of totally BRAND NEW MATERIAL, from Skynyrd.
I don't understand how any band can be more of a "Southern Rock Band" than Skynyrd. Skynyrd is the "Standard" when it comes to "Southern Rock". They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. I've been a fan ever since they first came out in the early 1970's. I still have concert ticket stubs from the "original" Ronnie Van Zant version of Skynyrd. I've seen all the various line-ups through the years, and I've always loved every version of Skynyrd. I've heard all the pros & cons about Skynyrd sounding like "Country", & "Country" sounding like Skynyrd, but to me, Skynyrd is as Pure of an American Southern Rock Band, as you can get. Their songs are for all hard working Americans, North, South, East or West, and also for their many fans in other countries. Their songs address "real life" issues". Like Artimus Pyle once said, "Lynyrd Skynyrd is about the Real World", and that tradition continues in this new release.
The 4 Bonus Tracks on this Special Edition include:
12.Poor Man's Dream
13.Do It Up Right
15.Low Down Dirty
This is the first Skynyrd Album (other than the Original Muscle Shoals Album), that does not include the late/great Billy Powell on keyboards. However, his replacement, Peter "Keys" Pisarczyk, formerly from various versions of George Clinton's Parliment/Funkadelic Band, does a good job of playing keyboards for Skynyrd. I've seen him perform "live" with Skynyrd. He plays a Black Piano, in respect for Billy Powell, who always played a White Piano. Although there are no extended piano solos on this new album, Peter's piano playing is somewhat featured at the beginning of "Ready To Fly", & on the bonus song "Do It Up Right". Also, another change included on this album is a brand new bass guitar player, Johnny Colt, formerly from the Black Crowes. Also, you get some recording session guitar playing from "John 5", who has performed & recorded with Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, & Others.
To me, this album is somewhat similar to the Skynyrd Album "The Last Rebel". It does not contain the "political messages" that were included in the "God & Guns" Album. Although it is Brand New Material, it does contains some references back to earlier versions of Skynyrd. For example, in the song "Last of a Dyin' Breed", it includes references to the song "Travelin' Man" from the past. Another example is "Mississippi Blood", it is similar to the song "Mississippi Kid" from the "Pronounced" Album. The song "Something To Live For" includes the words "No, I'll Never Change", which is similar to the part of "Freebird", which includes the lyrics "And This Bird Will Never Change". Overall, this is a VERY GUITAR ORIENTED album. Skynyrd still has that POWERFUL 3 GUITAR ATTACK, this time with Gary Rossington, Rickey Medlocke, & "Sparky" Matejka.
In the liner notes, there is a statement remembering all the previous members of Skynyrd, who have passed on. They include: Ronnie, Allen, Leon, Billy, Steve, Cassie, Jo Jo, Ean, & Hughie. I was a personal friend of Jo Jo Billingsley (an original backing singer (Honkette), in the pre-plane crash version of Skynyrd. She will be greatly missed.
I'm going to see Lynyrd Skynyrd live in concert tonight, August 24, 2012 in Bossier City, Louisiana. I'm really looking forward to it. "Can't Wait". I hope this review has been helpful. Thanks!!!!!
P.S. Well I saw Skynyrd last night in Bossier City, Louisiana on their "Last of a Dyin' Breed Tour". I got to stand near the front of the stage. They started the show with the song "Last of a Dyin' Breed", and they also performed the song "Good Teacher" from this album. The concert was "awesome". The newer members did an outstanding job. The new bassist Johnny Colt, did a phenomenal job on the bass, he had a beard, and wore a hat with a Rebel Flag on the front. His style was a lot like the original Skynyrd bassist, the late/great Leon Wilkeson. This was one fantastic concert, one of the best I'm seen since I last saw Skynyrd with ZZ Top ,last year on thier "Rebels & Bandolieros/Skynyrd Nation Tour" of 2011.