Patterson Hood's essential Southern rock
I was never a particularily avid Southern-rock fan growing up. Even now, my tastes tend to go in other directions. Most of the Southern-rock songs I really dig could fit onto a good K-Tel compilation, as most of the albums were filled with filler and a good song here or there. But here's the cream of the crop:
Lynyrd Skynyrd, any and all. They were great on every level, from the songwriting to the playing to the personalities. One More From the Road (1976) is probably their quintessential album, but I listen to it least. Street Survivors (1977) is their best. Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd (1973) and Second Helping (1974) have all the classics. And First and Last (1978) is most underrated, with my favorite Skynyrd song, "Was I Right or Wrong."
Wet Willie, Keep on Smilin' (1974). Another great album. A good greatest hits collection on them would probably do the trick also.
Boz Scaggs, Boz Scaggs (1969). I know, he's from California or something, but this album was recorded in Muscle Shoals with a bunch of 'Bama boys. It has Eddie Hinton and Duane Allman on guitars and features "Loan Me a Dime," which is considered Duane Allman's greatest performance.
Wilson Pickett, Hey Jude (1969). Probably my favorite album on this list. Again, Duane Allman just kills, and it's as Southern as it gets.
Big Star, Radio City (1973). Certainly not what people think of as Southern rock. What the Beatles would have sounded like if they came from Memphis and John beat Paul to death at a rib shack.
Blackfoot, No Reservations (1975). Their first and, by far, best album.
Eddie Hinton, Very Extremely Dangerous (1977). A masterpiece on every single level.
Black Oak Arkansas. Any of the early albums.
Allman Brothers Band, Live at Fillmore East (1971). An undeniably great album.
Cowboy. Anything you can find.
Georgia Satellites, In the Land of Salvation and Sin (1989). The greatest Southern rock album of the '80s or '90s, and truly a timeless, great rock album.
-- PATTERSON HOOD, DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS??