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Van Zant’s “Red White and Blue” Album Review

Genre: Southern Rock
Released by:Loud & Proud Records
Release date: July 1, 2016

Tracklist:
1 Takin’ Up Space
2 Ain’t Nobody Gonna Tell Me What To Do
Sweet Mama
4 Wild Eyed Southern Boys
Things I Miss The Most
6 I Know My History
7 Help Somebody
8 Plain Jane
9 I Can’t Help Myself
10 I’m Doin’ Alright
11 Red White & Blue
12 My Kind Of Country
13 Call Me The Breeze
14 Sweet Home Alabama

Another late album review – however one worth taking a listen to for sure.

Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of those bands that will always remain timeless. Memories of summertime, cold beer and good friends are synonymous with this ensemble of accomplished musicians who – even if you aren’t a fan – I bet you can sing along with at least one of their many mega hits that have stood the test of time and will always remain in our hearts as the American anthems of the 1970s.

That’s why I find it quite funny that me, a Canadian, be reviewing the new Johnny Van Zant live endeavor Red, White and Blue.

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I do however, have a very special connection to this man that goes as far back at August 24, 1982. Jonny Van Zant was the opening act for Black Sabbath on the Mob Rules tour which was my first concert. So technically Jonny Van Zant was the first live performance act I ever witnessed. 35 years later it’s kinda like coming full circle.

As for Donnie Van Zant, the hits of .38 Special continue to stay ear-worms to this date in my head.

As we all know anything Van Zant is gonna be as southern fried as it comes – this type of music never gets old.

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Released on July 1, 2016 (Canada Day) Red, White and Blue is a live album that was recorded 10 years ago on January 28 (my birthday – another connection) 2006 at Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Georgia and is the only concert recording in existence from the only tour by brothers Johnny and Donnie

For the Van Zant Brothers though, this album was released to mark Independence Day in the United States and the brothers are quoted as saying
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“We are really excited for this album to come out right before the Fourth of July, to celebrate the independence of our country,” says the Van Zant brothers. “We hope everyone rocks out to RED WHITE and BLUE all day!”

So get in your time machine, put your most comfortable denims on and get ready to sing along with Red, White and Blue.

Taking up Space kicks off the electric night and warms the crowd right up. It’s easy to hear why this musical magical family will never really be done, as their music is always in our hearts.

The .38 Special track Wild Eyed Southern Boys always just makes you want to stand up and sing and shout. Jonny Van Zant has the kind of voice that allows you to be drawn in and want more.

The chemistry musically between these brothers is without denying as they work their way through country tinted magic like I Know My History, Plain Jane and I can’t help myself.

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You can almost visualize the lighters in the air and girlfriends singing along from the big burly shoulders of some nice fella.

Closing the show with two Skynyrd classics Call Me The Breeze and Sweet Home Alabama is truly icing on the cake for anyone who is a fan of SFR. The hair on your arm stands up as the crowd sings and cheers along with these musical monikers that to some are anthems of life in itself.

My personal favourite is the title track Red, White and Blue. Musically it is warm and engaging like a summer campfire and most Van Zant music. However lyrically, this song talks about being real, honest and true – that to me defies colours and moves into what I hope for all someday. Unity happiness and joy.

Thank you for uncovering this gem Mr. Van Zants! Please don’t be shy to surprise us again anytime.

Reviewer: Marianne Jacobsen

Rating: 10/10

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