Gary Rossington - guitar
1. Highway of Love
We talked about it so much, we hoped it so much. And then, we ended up not believing in it anymore. And yet, we don't dream. Here we are !
Gary Rossington and Dale Krantz, the Southern rock royal couple, just released a solo album. An event for the little world of the Southern rock !
The projet started… about ten years ago. The downside of those Southern devils is that they take their time and that we never know what they keep in reserve. Well, it is also true that an entity like Lynyrd Skynyrd don't let a lot of time for this kind of aside.
But frankly, that was worth waiting so much time.
The record has been produced by the famous David Z (who worked for Buddy Guy and Prince) and benefits from the presence of high quality guests. Delbert McClinton comes and chew his harmonica here and there. Reese Wynans (former Stevie Ray Vaughan keyboard player) and the singer Bekka Bramlett (Bonnie's daughter) add an own twist at the party. Furthermore, some well known people cosigned several titles. Unfortunately, two participants won't see the result, the drummer Richie Hayward (who did the honours within the legendary Little Feat) and the guitarist Jack Holder (Black Oak Arkansas, Cobra) having respectively kicked the bucket in 2010 and 2015.
At the start, it had to be only an album of blues but our two artists finally followed their inspiration to compose. And there, we are not disappointed !
Dale Krantz's voice is still as poignant and Gary Rossington's guitar has never been as expressive (much more than with Lynyrd Skynyrd). Well, we better should say the guitars because Gary played different axes according to the tunes (a Stratocaster, a Gibson EL 35, a Gretsch Tennessean and his loyal Les Paul).
Well, nattered enough ! Let's go for a trip in Southern territory !
From the intro of « Highway of love » (with dobro and harmonica), we are directly plunged into the atmosphere with a good Southern rock and Gary's immediatly recognizable style. « I should’ve known » seduces by its rhythmic construction (bluesy slow for the verses and boogie for the choruses).
The splendid ballad « Take it on faith » is a little jewel of Southern country, like only the Southerners know how to compose. Gary is imperial in the dobro and Dale's voice gives the thrill. A clip was realized moreover from this title.
Again a very nice moment with « Light a candle » (a Southern hyper melodic soul tune which sets in the heart) and Gary's solo all in strings pullings.
Back to a Southern swamp-rock atmosphere with « Dance while you’re cookin’ », cosigned with Gary Nicholson (a famous composer and session guitarist). Mr Rossington catches the opportunity to send a very good solo of slide guitar.
On « Shame on me », a slow bluesy ballad, Dale's voice does wonders and Gary's guitar expresses itself splendidly with his so personal style (feeling, feed-back and notes in sustain).
But we are not at the end of our surprises with the very greasy blues-rock « Good side of good » and its so familiar rhythmic line. And for a good reason! Because it's Billy Gibbons himself who cosigned this title. Gary rocks a solo which gets to the point by highlighting the harmonics.
We are still entitled to two beautiful ballads : « Through my eyes » (with typical Rossington guitar licks) and « Where did love go » (with a great intervention of Gary on slide guitar).
The Texas Blues appears on « Something fishy ». Gary tortures a Stratocaster to get a square and effective solo.
The amateurs of six-string and piano solos alternating will be delighted by the bluesy slow « Too many rainy days ».
The party finally ends with the syncopated and tough « Two very different things ».
No, definitely, Gary Rossington and Dale Krantz didn't have a hell of a nerve. We feel that they had fun by offering this present to their fans.
High quality compositions and no padding tune. an impeccable sound pick-up and not recordings made in a rush. High qualified musicians and not opportunity sidemen. A real album and not a rough version.
But overall Dale Krantz's splendid voice, as hoarse and bluesy as can be, and Gary Rossington's guitar that didn't sound like that for a very long time. And then, the undeniable feeling between the great singer and the surviving guitarist.
After having listened to that record, we understand better the musical personnality of those two artists and we are not surprised. All that fits very well to the idea that we got of their world. Heritage and tradition. We even wonder how Gary could give the green light to some dubious tunes released on the last Lynyrd Skynyrd albums.
In any case, here is the irrefutable testimony that the talent never dies.
A superb record that inspire respect !
Southern music forever !