A Southern Rock Journey...

A Southern Rock Journey...
Authored By John Nicholson

I got turned on to southern rock before I knew it was southern rock. Like many, it was through the Allman Brothers. More specifically their compilation ‘The Road Goes Ever On’ which I loved and found super powerful. It took me to their discography which I bought in its entirety eventually though the first two albums were hard to find UK versions of. At this point, I recognised that the Capricorn label was my friend and I began to collect anything on the label. I didn’t know when I started that it would basically ground me in southern rock. I got into The Marshall Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop, Sea Level, Livingston Taylor, Wet Willie, Cowboy and more. These were usually not massively popular, indeed couldn’t get arrested in the UK, but they provided me with dozens of albums.

I thought bands like Sea Level were producing unique music which was jazzy, funky and rocky. The track ‘54’ was released as a 12” single and was almost danceable. I didn’t realise that all these groups fitted under the southern rock banner at the time. No one else I knew embraced the genre, but I thought it was great and expressed something quintessentially American.

As ever, I went off down family trees of bands. Elvin Bishop led me to Mike Bloomfield and Butterfield Blues Band. Sea Level took me back to Chuck Leavell (C. Level) and Lamar Wiliams and the Allmans. Randall Bramblett was an interesting diversion. Marshall Tucker took me to Charlie Daniels and the Volunteer Jam.

And that’s just a little slice of the places it sent me too. It all goes to show how important and influential the Allmans were.

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