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Trailer Tracks – No White Trash

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Southern rock came along in the early ’70s, spurred by the success of the Allman Bros, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker Band, Molly Hatchet, Wet Willie and others: bands actually from the south, many associated with Phil Walden’s Capricorn Records.

An amalgam of boogie, blues, country, bluegrass, Western swing, and improvisational music, all souped up with roaring guitars (at least two, Skynyrd had three, Black Oak Arkansas had about nine), Southern rock sought to plow the fertile musical roots of the South, while rejecting the embarrassing sociological peculiarities of the Southern past: “the South’s gonna do it again,” as Charlie Daniels sang, but this time sans the racism.

UTV has just released a collection called Trailer Tracks: 18 Classic Southern Rock Anthems! and it represents the charms of Southern rock well, although it strays pretty far afield into songs that perhaps the hotpant hottie in the presumably Southern trailer on the cover likes, but sure as shootin’ didn’t come from the South.

It almost goes without saying that “Sweet Home Alabama” is batting leadoff, With Daniels, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Molly Hatchet, the Outlaws, Steve Earle, Wet Willie, Allmans rocking along behind. But also on the collection are non-Southerners the Doobie Bros (No. Cal), Mountain (NYC), George Thorogood (Delaware), Steppenwolf (singer-songwriter John Kay is from Germany!), Joe Walsh (NJ, Ohio, Colorado), Little Feat (LA), BTO (Canada), Nazareth (UK), Free (UK), and Grand Funk Railroad (Michigan).

No complaints about the tunes – they’re all the obvious rockin’ faves – but if you call your collection “Southern Rock Anthems,” it should be more than 40% Southern, y’all.

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About Eric Olsen

  • Jim Carruthers

    These catalogue comps tend to be constructed in the Special Marketing Department (a similar relationship to marketing as Olympics or students) like this: come up with a title or high concept, get a stock photo for the cover, preferably royalty-free or public domain (yes, I am aware of the irony), troll through the catalogue for tunes which bear the slightest resemblance to the theme, get twice as many as you need, apply for clearance from the publishers, once you have your licenses, start shoveling.

    Too bad they didn’t use Warren Zevon’s “Play It All Night Long”:

    Sweet home Alabama
    Play that dead band’s song
    Turn those speakers up full blast
    Play it all night long

  • Tim Hall

    I sometimes wonder who picks the tracks for these albums, and what they’re smoking. Somebody who flunked Geography on this one, for sure.

    On the other hand, perhaps the definition of “Southern Rock” is having an anthem climaxing with a ten minute guitar solo on their first album.

    Nazareth don’t qualify on either count. Did they ever do a song more than four and a half minutes long?