Van Zant - Red White & Blue (Live) album review

Ronnie’s little brothers showcase their greatest hits

Van Zant Red White & Blue (Live) album cover

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A first-time release for an album recorded live in January 2006, by the band put together by Donnie and Johnny Van Zant, younger brothers of the late Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Ronnie.

Donnie is the former singer of .38 Special (he announced his retirement in 2013), Johnny still works as Skynyrd’s frontman, but both also occasionally wrote and played together, and here they aim at the country audience. Their greatest success was 2005’s Get Right With The Man album, which peaked at No.2 in the Billboard Country chart and provides nine of the 14 songs in this set.

It’s slick and polished, with lashings of lap steel, but mostly it rocks along. Skynryd fans will appreciate the crowd-pleasing covers of .38 Special’s Wild-Eyed Southern Boys and Red White & Blue (written by the pair for Skynyrd’s 2003 album Vicious Cycle) as much as they will the classics Call Me The Breeze and Sweet Home Alabama saved for the can’t-fail encore.

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Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush, Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.