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Swampland's Top 25 Albums of 2011

As March fades and the first quarter of 2012 comes to a close, Swampland has used this moment to look back on 2011 putting together our list of last year's best music releases from the South. Although we've named 25 records on our Top 25 Albums of 2011, each one serves as read more...


Rock and Roll Mommy

Rock and Roll Mommy by Shannon McNally I didn’t recognize the first signs of being pregnant. I mistook them for extreme road weariness. I was in the studio in Lafayette making a record with Mac Rebennack, (also known as


The GRITZ Stone Ground & Southern Compilation Home Page

Welcome to the official information page for the GRITZ Stone Ground and Southern Music Compilation Series. We hope you will enjoy these free downloads, visit the band websites and order their albums. Please be sure to give us your read more...


Expanding The NCAA Tournament Would Further Erode An Already Suffering Sport

It’s Championship week in college basketball, and it’s a thrilling time to watch teams from smaller conferences earn their way into the Big Dance.  While few believe that the regular season is what it used to be (especially when compared to college football), the read more...


Super Bowl XLIV Will Be Special for the South

The world’s biggest sporting contest is upon us, and the Southern storylines could not be more prevalent. With the Saints and the Colts meeting in the Super Bowl,


SEC, Big 12, & ACC Bowl Primer: Post-January 1 Edition

SEC 01/01 –.Auburn vs. Northwestern - Outback Bowl  (11 am EST – ESPN) 01/01 – LSU vs. Penn State - Independence Bowl  (1 pm EST – read more...


SEC, Big 12, & ACC Bowl Primer: Pre-January 1 Edition

SEC 12/27 – Kentucky vs. Clemson - Music City Bowl  (8:30pm EST – read more...


A Real Christmas Letter: Writer Counts Blessings

The following is a real Christmas letter that I received last year. It was too late to publish it on Swampland so I saved it for this year because I found it not only inspirational but very funny. During 2009 I read it over and over in order to remember to count read more...


Weekly Fever Review #5: The ACC Still Not Progressing Quickly Enough

 As we head into October, we've learned quite a few things about this current college football season. SEC - This conference remains on top, not only for our Footprint, but also nationally.  There are still 3 SEC teams in the top 5, and there are two teams read more...


Weekly Fever Review #4: NYC Bowl Hypocrisy, Etc.

It's going to be a briefer than normal weekly fever.  We will take a look at some key games coming up and how they affect our teams and conferences as a whole, but first let's start with a subject that really has us a bit miffed.


Weekly SPF Rating #3: Teams in Turmoil

We warned about a difficult season in SPF land, but we didn't think the wheels would come off so fast for certain teams. The good news is with a few of our top teams.  The Colts and Saints sit at 3-0 and look like potential Super Bowl contenders.  The Falcons, the read more...


Weekly SPF Rating #2: The Desperation Factor

We already warned everyone that 2009 looked like a down year for our SPF teams across the board.  It could be worse than we imagined after one of our better read more...


Weekly Fever Review #3: The South "Officially" Becomes the Home of College Football

We would be remiss if we didn't start our Weekly Fever with some big news - the College Football Hall of Fame will relocate from South Bend, Indiana (home of Notre Dame) to Atlanta by read more...


Weekly SPF Rating #1: 2009 Could Be A Long Year For Our Pro Teams

Yes, it is only the first week of the NFL season, but there are signs that it could be a seriously down year for our 13 SPF teams. It starts with the core of our group of teams - the eight squads that make up the NFC South and AFC South.  In the past, these two read more...


Weekly Fever Review: College Football's Week Two - Big 12/ACC Struggles, etc

Now that week two of the college football season is behind us, we've learned a little more about our teams and what the season might have in store.


Weekly Fever Review: Reflections on College Football's Week One

We thought we'd provide a few thoughts after the first week of the college football season just before tonight's Clemson - Georgia Tech game.  In the months that pass between each football season, certain things are put under the microscope by the media and the fans.  Here read more...


Renowned Artist James C. Watkins and the Trinity Museum Project.

by guest writer Diane Lehr On Friday July 17,2009, I spent the late afternoon in Athens, read more...


Celebrating Juneteenth and the End of Slavery in the US

by Penne J. Laubenthal "This is the use of memory/ For liberation -- not less of love but expanding/ Of love beyond desire and so liberation/ From the future as well as the past."  T. S read more...


The GRITZ Legends of Southern Rock Photo Scrapbook

Sometimes, a picture truly is worth a thousand words... Welcome to the GRITZ Legends of Southern Rock Photo Scrapbook. This will be an ongoing, often updated, collection of classic and new Southern Rock photographs, many of which have never before read more...


The GRITZ Legends of Southern Rock Photo Scrapbook : Part 16

Volunteer Jam: Toy Caldwell, Dobie Gray; Henry Paul; Jimmy Hall.


The True Era of Southern Rock 1969-1979

by Michael Buffalo Smith The definitive Southern Rock era began in 1969. In Macon, Georgia. Phil Walden, who had previously been known for his work with r&b acts like read more...


Billy Reid: A Touch of Southern Style in NYC

For lack of a better explanation the South is a place where city and rural cordially interact and blend daily.  This makes for a very interesting environment and culture - Billy Reid Nestled within a construction-filled street in the NoHo area of NYC, read more...


The Top 40 Moments From The Allman Brothers Band's 2009 Beacon Run

The 2009 Beacon Run was one for the books. Never have The Allman Brothers welcomed so many diverse guests onto their stage during a single run. And the results were read more...


The Legends of Southern Rock Photo Scrapbook : Part Eleven

Busted! But Duane kept on smilin!  


The Legends of Southern Rock Photo Scrapbook, Part Two

THE RANTS: Toy Caldwell and George McCorlkle's pre-Toy Factory, pre-Marshall Tucker band. read more...


The 25 Best Album Covers of Southern Rock

by Michael Buffalo Smith I am really excited about the recent comeback of vinyl records. I mean, not only is the old analog sound richer and warmer, but the big LP jackets were always a treat in and of themselves, from the liner notes and photos to the inserts. (Our read more...


Recruiting Never Ends in the South

When it comes to college football, just ‘Google’ the phrase “recruiting is the lifeblood” and you’ll see a ton of results. The fact that quality recruiting is the number one key for long-term success in the big-time world of college football has never read more...


Power Rankings: College Football Tradition By State

by Patrick Snow With the football season fast approaching, we thought it was time to take a State-by-State look at the schools and traditions that make up the religion that is college football in our Swampland footprint. Gold read more...


The 20 Best Songs: ZZ Top

by Michael Buffalo Smith For nearly 40 years Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard of


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 13): William Faulkner Provides Our Rankings

As the season nears conclusion, it's time to break down our 13 teams into groups, Faulkner-style.  With apologies to this great writer, the titles and themes of his novels and stories seemed to fit our group of thirteen as the season nears its close.


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 11): The Stretch Run Begins!

We know quite a bit about our SPF teams by now.  The only thing left to determine is which teams are playoff bound and which teams have Super Bowl potential.  At least half of our 13 teams will be at home and that number could continue to rise. We can also call at read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 10): Ranking the Coaching Trees

1.  Tennessee Titans - The Titans remain a fantastic SPF story.  Their way of winning - brute force, matched by a will not to lose - has them as the NFL's only undefeated team for yet another week.


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 9): Shakeups At The Top!

1.  Tennessee Titans - Like the #1 college team working each week to hold their place at the top, the Titans have methodically marched through their undefeated season.  This isn't a big play team.  It doesn't have to be.  They attack opponents read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 8): Halfway Home

1.  Dallas Cowboys - They pulled off a critical victory against the Bucs last Sunday.  It was ugly, but that's how it goes sometimes.  A win is a win.  The Cowboys can't afford to be worried about style points right now. They continue to read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 7): Hanging Hammers

1.  Dallas Cowboys -  Let's hear a few words of wisdom from one of Swampland Sports all time coaching greats, Jimmy Johnson: Show me one player who doesn’t need a hammer hanging over him. I don’t think there’s ever been, or read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 6): Tennessee Reigns!

1.  Tennessee Titans - The last undefeated team in the NFL has to get the top spot for at least one week this season.  They have become Tennessee's team as the Vols in Knoxville have struggled to maintain their own identity. 2.  Dallas read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 5): Identities Found, Lost

Identities.  This is the "Team Identity" Poll after all.  We are far enough into the season to get a sense of where teams are.  Some have done an amazing job.  Others are teetering, losing their connection to their fans and read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 4): Adjustments

The NFL vs College.  It's a distinction that has begun to blur.  The two games have been getting closer and closer over the past ten years.  Scholarship reductions are one of the main reasons combined with increased TV exposure for all schools.  Watching Vandy read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 3): Who Are You?

In any season, there is a moment where teams begin to show who they are.  After three games, our SPF teams are showing just that. 1.  Dallas Cowboys - The Cowboys took care of business on Sunday night against the Packers.  The Cowboys as a read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 2): Consistency, Both Good and Bad

1.  Dallas Cowboys -  Our recent SPF review of Jeff Pearlman's book on the Cowboys of the 1990's called Boys Will Be Boys shows how this latest era in Cowboys history might possibly be even read more...


Space Opera - LOST IN SPACE (Chapter 2)

The Epic Saga of Fort Worth's Space Opera CHAPTER TWO: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PARTY (and later, a problem)... "I'm at the club one evening and three guys show up, and we're talking gawky, zit-faced teenagers... they wanted me to come to Fort read more...


SPF T.I. Poll (Week 1): Overcoming Adversity

Starting last Thursday, the NFL season began another year which means that SPF is back with our weekly "Team Identity" Poll. To recap, SPF rates teams not on how good they are, but how well they relate to the fans in the Footprint.  Pro sports isn't as read more...


Space Opera - LOST IN SPACE

The Epic Saga of Fort Worth's Space Opera by Frank Gutch A FOREWORD, OF SORTS... I have to laugh when I think of how many people, including those in the music industry, considered Space Opera one of Canada's best rock exports. read more...


The 100 Defining Moments in Southern Rock: Part Six (Final Installment)

17. Bonnie Bramlett’s Run On Roseanne (1991) Bonnie (Then called Bonnie Sheridan) shows up as a waitress in a diner and a friend of Roseanne in both the third and read more...


What It Is--Is Swamp Music--Is What It Is

                                   What It Is—Swamp Music—Is What It Is


GRITZ Presents: Buffalo Roaming

BUFFALO ROAMING


The 100 Defining Moments in Southern Rock: Part Five

by Michael Buffalo Smith And we continue.... 28. “Stompin’ Room Only” Released (2003) The “Holy Grail” for Marshall Tucker Band fans, read more...


The 100 Defining Moments in Southern Rock: Part Four

by Michael Buffalo Smith 39. Jammin’ for Danny Joe Brown - (July 18, 1999) An all star concert headed up by Riff West to raise money for


The 100 Defining Moments in Southern Rock: Part Three

59. “Freebird” The Movie Premiers (1996) Drawn mostly from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1976 show at Knebworth Fair in England. the movie also included footage from a few read more...


Wynton and Willie and the Blues

by Penne J. Laubenthal The Marsalis family and Willie Nelson and I go way back. I have been a fan read more...


The 100 Defining Moments in Southern Rock: Part Two

79. Cameron Crowe Puts The Allmans On the Cover of the Rolling Stone (December 6, 1973) Cameron Crowe went on the road with The Allman Brothers at the age of 15, and read more...


A Southern Strategy For The NBA

Now that we welcome another NBA team to our Footprint (three cheers for OKC), it's time for the NBA to start making some other changes that will help this league's popularity continue to grow in our read more...


The 100 Defining Moments in Southern Rock: Part One

by Michael Buffalo Smith 100. “Pony Boy” Hand bone (1973) Dickey Betts brought country music sensibility into


Bob Dylan's Renaldo & Clara: Asleep In The Tomb

Bob Dylan’s Lost Classic Renaldo & Clara: Asleep In the Tomb By James Calemine "I've been read more...


NASCAR: Driving in Different Directions?

by Patrick Snow Some recent events in the world of NASCAR have made us here at Swampland ask the question: In what direction is this sport going? I’ve expressed frustration before about how NASCAR seems to want to forget its Southern roots as they try to put read more...


The Ten Greatest Southern Rock Cities

by Michael Buffalo Smith   1. Jacksonville, Florida     The birthplace of


Ten Great DVD's For Southern Rockers

by Michael Buffalo Smith   1. Almost Famous  (2000)     The semi-autobiographical story of read more...


The Greatest Songwriters of The Southern Rock Era

by Michael Buffalo Smith   1. Dickey read more...


The Greatest Instrumentalists of The Southern Rock Era

INSTRUMENTALISTS (OTHER THAN GUITAR/KEYS/DRUM KIT) by Michael Buffalo Smith  


The Greatest Keyboard Players of The Southern Rock Era

by Michael Buffalo Smith 1. Chuck Leavell      Take one look at the Georgia boy’s


The Greatest Bass Players of the Southern Rock Era

1. Tommy Caldwell - According to all of the members of The Marshall Tucker read more...


Great Southern Record Producers

  "There are three kinds of record producers. The first kind is the documentarian -- someone like Leonard Chess, who goes into a bar on the South Side of Chicago, sees Muddy Waters with a six-piece combo, then pulls him into the studio the next day and says, read more...


The Greatest Drummers of The Southern Rock Era

by Michael Buffalo Smith   1. Jakson Spires of Blackfoot    In my opinion,


Top 25 Songs of The Southern Rock Era

by Michael Buffalo Smith 1. Freebird - Lynyrd Skynyrd     As if there was any doubt read more...


The Greatest Vocalists of The Southern Rock Era

    by Michael Buffalo Smith  


The Top Ten Guitarists of the Southern Rock Era

The Greatest Guitar Slingers of The Southern Rock Era by Michael Buffalo Smith


GRITZ Southern Rock Lists

  SWAMPLAND'S SOUTHERN ROCK LISTS


Southern Sporting "Events"

by Patrick Snow As I attended a Kentucky Derby function this past Saturday, it was never more evident that Southerners must throw a pretty good party. We are probably more known


Gritz Legends of Southern Rock

A handful of bands from the Southern Rock Era have earned the title of  "Legend."  These are the bands that defined the genre and set the bar for all other bands in their wake. These are the few, the originals, the Legends of Southern read more...


The BCS: A Friend to the SEC (and the Rest of the Footprint)

We at Tribal Fever find it odd that it would be the SEC who would call for a playoff system.  We wonder how the SEC can be so blind to the fact that the BCS has been great for that conference. For those that love the idea of a playoff, we will list the reasons why most read more...


Legends of Southern Rock: ZZ Top

by Michael Buffalo Smith "ZZ Top was the best band in the world at remaining mysterious for so long. That was part of their appeal. You saw these beards, and they didn’t talk as much as they do these days. There was just a real mystery about them for a long read more...


Snowman's 2008 Draft Wrap Up

The annual NFL Draft is now over, and the critics will have a field day with opinions on who did well and who faltered with their choices. I thought I would take a look at the Draft from the collegiate view and see who from our region will have the biggest impact on their new read more...


SPF's 2008 NFL Draft Awards

Although the NFL Draft still have rounds 3-7 to go, we at SPF think it is time to hand out some awards.  Except in very rare cases, team's drafts are defined by their day one picks, and we learned a lot about how the SPF slate of teams are approaching the coming season - for read more...


Jim Dickinson's All-Star Music & Film

In Jim Dickinson’s first contribution to Swampland/Mystery And Manners, he wrote an indelible piece on Memphis barbecue. For his second installment Dickinson cites his favorite pianists, films and a desert island music stash. The High Priest of Memphis read more...


Record Stores of the Swampland Footprint

ALABAMA CD Cellar Anniston AL Oz Music Tuscaloosa AL ARKANSAS


Jim Dickinson's Best Memphis Barbecue & Favorite Meals On The Road

When I interviewed the High Priest of Memphis Mojo—Jim Dickinson—I asked him if he’d be interested in submitting his inimitable insight on barbecue, music and movies. Mr. read more...


The Top Ten Albums of Southern Rock According to...

On the heels of my own Top Twenty Five Southern Rock albums, we asked a few of our friends to share their own lists of Favorite Southern Rock albums, and we got a few real surprises,  but one fact read more...


The Top Ten Albums of Southern Rock

Southern Rock’s Top Ten Welcome to a new feature at GRITZ called Southern Rock’s Top Ten, where we will be asking the stars an journalists associated with the genre, as well as some of today’s country music stars, to share


Darius Goes West: Twelve Guys and a Dream

Once in a great while, just when you think there is no reason to get up in the morning and that there is no hope for humanity, and that people will just go on killing one another forever, and that tomorrow will be probably be even worse than today, then something happens to turn read more...


SEC: Conference King Once Again

By Patrick Snow It’s an argument that will never end-whose Conference is better? Fans will debate this topic vociferously every season, and the answer always tends to lie close to your address. I’m not sure that the Bowl games are the best way to evaluate read more...


Huge Hires for the SEC Old Guard

By Patrick Snow It has already been quite the postseason in the SEC coaching ranks, and it’s only going to get more interesting. With the recent additions of Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino along with Houston Nutt and Les Miles staying in the conference, read more...


Anarchy in the ATL

By Patrick Snow The current Atlanta Falcons mess brings up so many thoughts and issues. I thought I would try to answer some of the questions that are plaguing this moribund franchise. How did everything go so wrong? The forecast for the Falcons never read more...


Goodbye, Babylon: A Patchwork Quilt of American Music

GOODBYE, BABYLON  A Patchwork Quilt of American Music By James Calemine


Reality Check

By Patrick Snow Some schools in our Swampland Region are currently learning a harsh lesson: if you are going to make a major change like firing your football coach, you must have a better alternative ready to go. Arkansas, Southern Miss(and Michigan on a national read more...


Coaching Carousel

By Patrick Snow The end of the college football season always brings with it unfulfilled goals which translates into coaching changes. There has been quite a bit of movement in our region. Some of the firings were inevitable while others showed us just how unrealistic read more...


NFL Label Book: Overrated

By Patrick Snow Just like many a bad segment of talk radio, another ‘label’ book was recently released into America to get football fans arguing with each other. We have Philly-based ESPN field reporter Sal Paolantonio to thank for this latest read more...


The Great Southern Sportswriters Series

Writing and storytelling have always been deeply ingrained in Southern culture.  The people that combined that art with the Swampland Footprint's passion for sports make the whole experience more special and unique. Swampland Sports is proud to offer this series of read more...


Enjoy the Season

By Patrick Snow Another college football season--another initial release of the BCS standings. This annual ritual seems to send everyone running to call a local talk show to scream about a Playoff system and how the middle letter should be removed from read more...


The State of Baseball in the South

By Patrick Snow (editor's note:  Swampland Sports considers the following teams to be part of the Footprint:  Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Florida Marlins, Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, read more...


A Modest Proposal: Southern College Conference Realignment

Now that Swampland Sports has launched Tribal Fever (TF), our dispatch dedicated to college sports in the South, we figured it was time to do weigh in on the current state of college football conferences. The college football conference landscape in the read more...


Athletic Directors: Be Ready To Ante Up

Southern college football-we live it and breathe it year-round, and it has become abundantly clear that the stakes of the game have been raised with some of the recent coaching hires. The ‘price of poker’ is increasing steadily, and if your school is not ready to ante read more...


SPF 2007 Team Previews

As promised, we have our 2007 Team Previews! Since fans can go to numerous places to read about rosters, statistics, etc, we at Southern Pro Football want to focus our 2007 previews on the teams and their connection to their area of the South. We will examine read more...


Sunshine State Swoon

Sunshine State Swoon By Patrick Snow Has professional football hit its lowest point in the state of Florida? I’m not trying to overreact to three Week 1 losses, but one has to wonder what direction the franchises in the Sunshine State are going. read more...


The Divine Spark of Sly & The Family Stone

   By James Calemine   


Reflections on Willie Nelson: The Complete Atlantic Sessions

WILLIE NELSON: THE COMPLETE ATLANTIC SESSIONS …A JOURNEY TO THE RESERVOIR OF AMERICAN COUNTRY & SOUL… by James Calemine “If America had one voice, it would be Willie’s…” - Emmylou read more...


Immortal Blues - In Memoriam: Chris Whitley

IMMORTAL BLUES - IN MEMORIAM: CHRIS WHITLEY 1960-2005 by James Calemine There’s a dirt floor Underneath here To receive us When changes fail May this shovel Loose your trouble Lay them


Sam Shepard Stars in "Don't Come Knocking"

  The Electric Cowboy Stars In Wim Wenders' Latest Film by James Calemine December '05 Sam Shepard’s career epitomizes the rugged soul of America’s West. The award read more...


The Late Great Townes Van Zandt

A deluge of Townes Van Zandt releases flood the market since his death on January 1, 1997. A bitter legal battles ensues over Van Zandt's prolific song catalogue. Various related projects recently became available such as Norah Jones' Handsome Band: Live 2004, Margaret Brown's read more...


The Yucatan is not a tanning salon: Pastel de lujo

by Ron Williams February 2003 I was basically asleep when our oldest son called in from Austin. I think I yelled to ask if his gig paid any real money, and then rolled over and hugged whatever damn dog was in the bed. Turns out, he was calling read more...


Hot Tamales and They Red Hot

Hot Tamales and They Red Hot by Ron Williams December 2002   On Friday, November 27, 1936, in a hotel room in San Antonio, Texas, Robert Johnson recorded "They’re Red Hot." While this song read more...


QUE TAL, Y'ALL! Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas

by Ron Williams October, 2002 Hatcher leaned back in the chair, "Back in the 60’s when I lived in Dallas, we could get some good stuff. Sometimes we’d have to go to the border or even into Mexico to get the read more...


Retail Canned and Frozen Ready - to - Serve Southern Products

Company's Coming! Retail canned and frozen ready - to - serve Southern products A TRUE STORY by Ron Williams October 2001 (ring - ring) "Hello?"


Janis Joplin Remembered

Recollections of Janis Seen Through the Eyes of Big Brother by Sam Andrew Summer 2000 Janis Joplin spent her childhood in Port Arthur, Texas. That town and indeed all of Texas east of Houston is bayou country, read more...


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