Lynyrd Skynrd's Last Of The Street Survivors tour may be winding its way to a close - the band are due to play their final show at the Exit 111 Festival in Manchester, TN, on October 11 – but perhaps they won't be gone forever.
The band have already talked about recording another album, and Jonny Van Zant was keen to talk about continuity at the band's UK dates, telling the crowd, "this isn't 'goodbye', it's 'till next time'". He also emphasised his own 32-year tenure in the band, rather than the franchise's longer history.
So perhaps they'll be back. And who better to pick their setlist than Charlie Starr, Skynyrd nut and leader of Blackberry Smoke, whose high school pictures must surely have been flagged, ''most likely to be the next kings of Southern rock"? No one, that's who.
The Ballad Of Curtis Loew
"As is the case with so many of Skynyrd’s great songs, this song is expertly crafted and beautifully recorded. One of their greatest attributes as a band was their ability to be subtle. I think most people overlook that. Also, this is one of Ronnie Van Zant’s best stories."
Workin For MCA
"This is Skynyrd at their most muscular. What a great big riff! The story is they played this for their label [MCA] at an album-release party, which is fantastic, because the song is basically a threat."
I Ain't The One
“I imagine this might be people’s first taste of Skynyrd in 1973, since it’s the first track on their debut album. A great big, funky southern rock’n’roll song with absolutely ferocious guitar playing from Rossington and Collins. What a great way to start.”
"As much as Free Bird is worshipped around the globe – and rightly so – I believe this to be their most beautiful ballad. Perfection.”
Saturday Night Special
“Just nasty. What a groove. An anti-gun song from a southern band. Who’d have figured?”
Am I Losin?
“Ronnie was pretty fearless as a lyricist, and this song is a great example. He’s calling his ‘so-called friends’ out for treating him differently because he’s successful. Also, this song contains my favourite solo from the one and only Ed King. RIP.”
“Why this song was not included on Street Survivors I’ll never understand. But I guess it’s a nice problem to have outtakes this strong.”
“Enter Steve Gaines… Apparently everyone upped their game."
Down South Jukin'
“One of the earlier songs that really shows, in my opinion, how much Skynyrd loved the Stones and other British bands. So much swagger on this one.”
"Right from the start they were not afraid to show off their ability to play the country blues stuff that they learned from people like Shorty Medlocke. There’s so much depth in their first album it’s almost staggering.”
The Needle And The Spoon
“There is no shortage of timeless guitar riffs in Skynyrd’s catalogue, and this song is a prime example.”
I Need You
"An oft-overlooked masterpiece. Beautifully played twin guitar over Ed King’s greasy Strat. One of Ronnie’s few love songs.”
Gimme Three Steps
“A random guy yelled: ‘Play some ol’ honk’ at our show in Indiana last night. He knows.”
Sweet Home Alabama
“This song is absolutely, positively perfect.”
“If I were going for my doctorate, my dissertation would be on why this song has such a powerful hold on people. It’s transcendental. It will most definitely live until the end of time. Thank you, Lynyrd Skynyrd. I love you dearly.”