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.