BBC4’s fine night of Southern Rock programming was still on my mind yesterday morning when I arrived back at Uncut, and a bit of chat about the shows at my Twitter feed eventually lead to a crowdsourced Southern Rock Playlist.
Big thanks to this blog’s longtime friend and Spotify wrangler @citizenwatt (I’ll be using Twitter names throughout this), who has pulled all your suggestions together into an epic Spotify playlist that currently stretches to 65 tracks. Massive thanks to all of you who contributed, especially @DanJones655, @p_wood, @MycroftSix, @levi167 and @DrNesehorn.
@levi167 – in real life, Uncut writer Peter Shapiro – displayed a pretty hardcore take on the genre: when I mentioned the Allmans fusion spin-off Sea Level, helmed by Chuck Leavell: “Sea Level was always too jazzy for my blood – I like my Southern Rock straight, no mixers.” In doing so, he instigated the thorny but probably necessary attempt to clarify exactly what is meant by Southern Rock. Who qualifies? Where do they have to come from? Do Little Feat count?
To be honest, one day on, I’m still not entirely sure, though my personal feeling is that a lot of the stuff that appeared on Soul Jazz’s “Delta Swamp Rock” comp a while back, while almost all tremendous, feels somehow closer to some looser country-soul/roots-rock sound. Perhaps, if there aren’t a minimum three guitars and eight-minutes plus on the clock, it doesn’t pass my test: never mind the quality, feel the width.
Anyhow, I’m also indebted to @RichardKovitch for linking to this unexpected meditation on the subject from Simon Reynolds, and to @DanJones655 for flagging up Barney Hoskyns’ contentious grapple with the politics of Southern Rock. Interesting reads.
And finally, if @citizenwatt’s massive endeavour feels a bit daunting, can I also recommend a great, compact Spotify playlist put together by Uncut’s @_staticparty. Don’t get him started on Brownsville Station…
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