On July 1st, Loud & Proud Records will release Red White & Blue (Live), a recently unearthed live Van Zant show recorded on January 28, 2006 at Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Georgia and is the only concert recording in existence from the only tour by brothers Johnny (Lynyrd Skynyrd) and Donnie (38 Special).
The concert opens with the crowd-pleasing “Takin’ Up Space,” and includes their 2005 hit “Help Somebody,” which reached #7 on the Country Singles chart. The brothers also perform fan-favorite versions of 38 Special’s “Wild Eyed Southern Boys,” which Johnny sings for the first time, as well as Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Call Me the Breeze” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”
One of the most telling lines is from the title track, “Red White & Blue,” a song the Van Zants wrote which first appeared on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 2003 album Vicious Cycle is, “We’re trying to sing the truth to you.” That line alone encapsulates exactly why the Van Zants have always had such a deep connection with their audiences.
Red White & Blue (Live) may have been lost if it hadn’t been for the man known as “LJ,” Donnie’s longtime 38 Special bandmate, bassist Larry Junstrom. LJ had just bought some mobile recording equipment and asked permission to record the show with his then-new Pro Tools rig. He recorded the concert and then some months later called Donnie and urged him to listen to what he captured. Donnie knew it was a good show, but he couldn’t believe how good. The plan was always to release it, but somehow the recording was forgotten about until recently. After fans had been repeatedly asking for another Van Zant project, LJ reminded the brothers of the live concert’s existence. “The plan was always to enjoy ourselves and have fun,” says Donnie, “and this recording captures a moment when we had a great night.”
The brothers joined together over twenty years ago to form Van Zant and have delved deep into the family’s country-tinged roots. The two were inspired by the fact that their late brother, Ronnie, the spiritual leader and original lead vocalist and chief songwriter for Lynyrd Skynyrd, had always wanted to do a country record. “Let’s do it for Ronnie,” avowed the brothers. The Van Zant’s significant contribution to southern rock, country and popular music across the board has created an unparalleled legacy and is the reason they have been dubbed The First Family of Southern Rock. “It has been quite a while since Donnie and I have worked together on a project,” says Johnny Van Zant. “We can’t wait to see what the fans think. We love it, so we hope they do too.”
1. Takin’ Up Space
2. Ain’t Nobody Gonna Tell Me What To Do
3. Sweet Mama
4. Wild Eyed Southern Boys (originally performed by 38 Special)
5. 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 (originally performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd)
14. Sweet Home Alabama (originally performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.