Photo: The late Gary Rossington | By Ben Finley, Associated Press / AP | Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington, who died Sunday, made it big when rock ‘n’ roll was still a defining cultural force on par with today’s TikTok trends and superhero movies.

The iconic band’s last surviving co-founder was also perhaps the last flagpole in a once-powerful part of American music: Southern rock. Or at least a rebellious version of it that later became loosely tied to conservative politics and didn’t shy away from some of the problematic symbols of the South.

“They’re the band that sort of codified a lot of what we think of as Southern rock,” said Stephen Thomas Erlewine, a music critic who writes for AllMusic, Pitchfork and Rolling Stone.

Lynyrd Skynyrd sang about Southern life while playing a form of muscular and gritty blues rock. The music could be raw or bloom into an extended guitar solo, like on their anthem “Free Bird.”

But the Lynyrd Skynyrd of 2023 bears little resemblance to the one of nearly 50 years prior, when the original incarnation featured a group of long-haired musicians who fit into the American counterculture and were certainly not embraced by Nixon-era Republicans, Erlewine said.
> > > > > > > > >
Read the rest of the story here:

[Editor’s note: The band played their March engagement with a sub-guitarist.]

Photo: Gary Rossington

Leave a Reply

Close Search Window