1. Drive-By Truckers - Marry Me
2. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Up Around the Bend
3. Justin Townes Earle - Harlem River Blues
4. Lucero - What Are You Willing to Lose?
5. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Alabama Pines [Live]
6. My Morning Jacket - Dancefloors
7. The Wallflowers - 6th Avenue Heartache
8. Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
9. The Men - Half Angel Half Light
10. Steve Earle - Copperhead Road
11. Gin Blossoms - Lost Horizons
12. The Bottle Rockets - 1000 Dollar Car
13. Uncle Tupelo - The Long Cut
14. Ryan Adams - Firecracker
15. The Allman Brothers Band - Statesboro Blues [Live]
I've lived south of the Mason-Dixon Line for all of my life save for time spent at college in Indiana and my last three summers in New Mexico. I sometimes like to tell people that, "it's in my genes to walk around Wal-Mart eating fried chicken" even though I hate fried chicken and my family refused to shop at Wal-Mart for a good part of my childhood for political reasons. I once entertained a tailgate party of people almost exclusively from New York or Wisconsin--including the CFO of Citigroup--with one of my dad's more amusing anecdotes from his childhood in Mississippi. The humor derived from his great-aunt, no joke named Saphronia (sp?), who used to back up to her heating grate and hitch her skirts up in an attempt to warm up her backside in the winter. Although I have barely any trace of a Southern accent, I take mild offense to the term "redneck" when used in a derogatory way and I'll go round for verbal round with anyone who tries to demean the South or its people in a way that isn't true or fair.
It's no surprise that this has an effect on my taste in music. This playlist highlights some of my favorite "southern rock" tunes, a term is oft-misunderstood and ends up turning many listeners off from groups who are truly just really great American rock bands. If a band tries to "deep fry" their guitar sound for an album or two, I'm likely to love it. In fact many songs on this playlist highlight brief forays into this style of music by the artist in question. I don't generally give a damn whether the person behind the mic is from Mississippi or Maine, what qualifies as "southern rock" to my ear is just kind of "you'll know it when you hear it" kind of thing. It has to sound natural though, not forced, affected or tongue-in-cheek. Oh yeah, electric guitars are pretty crucial too.
And so--without any further ado, I give you my choice "southern rock" cuts. This is obviously by no means exhaustive, and I expect and welcome arguments about whether some of these artists aren't outliers. And remember kids, if you're in a hungry young band and you're trying to record your first demo, perhaps the best course of action is to sit down, listen to your music, and ask each other, "yes this is great, but...can we deep fry it???"