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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 Rock.

JUST ADDED! Join in on the discussions in our "Legends of Southern Rock" Group on Facebook!


The Allman Brothers Band

Founded in 1969, The Allman Brothers Band remains a viable entity even today, selling out stadiums as well as their annual run of dates at New York's Beacon Theatre.

"Essentially I grew up with a real wide musical taste, and then of course came The Allman Brothers, and that changed my life. They became and still are my favorite band of all time."   - Billy Bob Thornton, GRITZ Interview


Lynyrd Skynyrd

Considered by many to be the definitive Southern Rock band , Lynyrd Skynyrd continues to tour today, carrying the legend or Ronnie Van Zant and the original band to both old fans and to another generation of rebel rousers alike.

"Ronnie was a gem. Ronnie was a brilliant writer. I can say that Ronnie was a true consummate professional."  - Tom Dowd, GRITZ Interview


The Marshall Tucker Band

Blending their Carolina country roots with r&b and jazz stylings, The Marshall Tucker Band were total originals. Nobody else played guitar quite like the late Toy Caldwell, who burned up the fretboard playing with his thumb instead of a pick. Doug Gray has kept the MTB name alive since the breakup of the original group in 1984.

"We were playing Spartanburg, at the Ruins.  We didn’t really pay attention to who was opening until we got there. But we sat out front and listened to them. They just knocked us out from the beginning. It was a sound that was totally unique to my ears, and to the other guys in the band as well. -Jimmy Hall of Wet Willie, GRITZ Interview

The Outlaws

The Florida guitar army, lead by the amazing talent that was Hughie Thomasson blended country, rock and blues into a unique sound that garnered them legions of fans worldwide who hold the band in high regard to this day.

"It was an honor to play with Hughie. The Outlaws were true originals. Nobody else had that sound, with Hughie's great vocals and the wall of guitars. They were the best." -Chris Hicks

The Charlie Daniels Band

Considered by many to be the "Father" of Southern Rock, Charlie Daniels began his Charlie Daniels Band in the early 1970's, touring as opening act for The Marshall Tucker Band. Now, some 35 plus years later, The CDB continue to sell out huge venues and create fresh new music.

"I tell you what, Charlie Daniels is a class act ...I woke up and went to sleep with that stuff. When I was growing up we said “it’s not your daddy’s country music.” I remember the first time I heard Charlie (Daniels) ... It freaked me out. The music was in your face, the lyrics were in your face, and it was entertaining. It wasn’t just standing onstage and playing. It was rocking. They sang about the good times and the bad, and the partying too. I was all about that and I think everybody was. It was living life. And the guitar riffs. That’s what I loved more than anything I reckon was just the power of the guitars." -Eddie Montgomery, Montgomery Gentry



Founded originally in 1969 in Florida, Blackfoot became the undisputed kings of "Southern Rock Metal" during the seventies, delivering hits like "Train, Train" and "Highway Song."

"Blackfoot simply blew my head off. I learned those first three LPs lick for lick. What a band! I blame the entire Blackfoot band for inspiring me to make the transition from drummer to guitarist. Charlie Hargrett and Rickey Medlocke were just too cool, blasting the walls down at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. Charlie and Rickey were my first guitar heroes. I knew I could never bang the skins like Jakson Spires so I just had to be a guitarist."  - Jay Johnson


Molly Hatchet

Blazing out of Jacksonville, Florida during the late seventies, Hatchet became the torch bearers for Lynyrd Skynyrd following the band's tragic plane crash. Today, Bobby Ingram and Dave Hlubek continue the Hatchet tradition.



ZZ Top

Formed in Texas in 1969, ZZ Top blended Texas blues, Southern rock and a huge dose of originality into a stew that keeps them smoking to this very day.

"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 time. And then in terms of their sound, I always liked people who are unique, and nobody ever sounded like them, before or since. You can call it blues rock or whatever, but once you hear the guitar of Billy Gibbons, you know it’s ZZ Top. They were one of a kind and still are. That’s what I always loved about them." - Billy Bob Thornton, for GRITZ




Formed in Jacksonville, Florida in 1975, 38 Special enjoyed a major string of radio hits during the eighties and nineties, and continue to rock into the night even today.




Originally formed in Florida in 1969, Cowboy was headed up by Tommy Talton and Scott Boyer. The band had a pure, country riock sound that pre-dated The Eagles and Poco. They became a staple of the Capricorn Records roster, and worked a lot with The Allman Brothers Band, including acting as backing band for Gregg Allman's 1974 tour and diouble album.


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New Orleans,
Muscle Shoals,
West Virginia,
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