If you know me at all, you know that I love all kinds of music. However, my musical home, if you will, is and will always remain what is called Southern Rock. I love everything from old school CDB to Molly Hatchet to the new folks like the Drive By Truckers.
Lynyrd Skynyrd is the grandaddy of them all. Yes, I know it is cliche (but can it really be cliche if the cliche is actually about them?). Two songs are definitely overplayed. However, Skynyrd is the standard by which all Southern Rock is (and should be) compared, at least when you think about ‘old school’ Southern Rock.
Yesterday, Billy Powell, the keyboardist that gives you the first melodic sounds on ‘Free Bird,’ passed away in his home in Orange Park, Florida. For my uncultured friends, Lynyrd Skynyrd was based in Jacksonville, not Alabama. They did much of their recording at the famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and wrote ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ in retort to Neil Young’s ‘Southern Man.’ But they were North Florida all the way.
RIP Mr. Powell. Heaven has one more great to play the organ up there.