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The Greatest Instrumentalists of The Southern Rock Era


by Michael Buffalo Smith


                                                                          Photo by Buffalo

1. Charlie Daniels (fiddle)
    Nobody does it better. Besides being a super hot guitar picker, Charlie is an amazing fiddler. Heck, he beat the devil in a contest! Still the Godfather of Southern Rock. AT HIS BEST: “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “Orange Blossom Special.”

2. Jimmy Hall (sax, harp)
    An amazing vocalist (our number one) and an equally impressive sax man and harp player. Whether fronting Wet Willie, working with Jeff Beck or as band director for Hank, Jr., Jimmy does it all so well. AT HIS BEST: “Street Corner Serenade,” the whole Drippin’ Wet Live LP.

3. Toy Caldwell (pedal steel)
    One of Southern Rock’s very best guitar players was also a very tasty steel player. AT HIS BEST: “Fire On The Mountain,” “Desert Skies.”

4. Thom Doucette (harp)
   You’ve got to be a helluva harp player to sit in with the Allman Brothers Band. AT HIS BEST: The Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore East; Live at The Atlanta International Pop Festival.

5. Jerry Eubanks (sax, flute, keys)
   The super talented multi-instrumentalist of The (original) Marshall Tucker Band. AT HIS BEST: “Heard it in a Love Song,” “Can’t You See.” “This Time I Believe.”
6. Jim Dandy Mangrum (wash board)
    Black Oak Arkansas front man Jim Dandy can play a scrub board like nobody’s business. A truly unique skill. AT HIS BEST: The whole Raunch and Roll Live LP, especially “When Electricity Came to Arkansas.”

7. JoJo Billingsley (percussion)
    One of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd Honkettes, Deborah Jo is a phenomenal singer, but she also shakes a mean set of maracas. AT HER BEST: One More From The Road

8. Donnie McCormick of EQT  (Chicken Coup)
   Founding father of Eric Quincy Tate and a super talent. AT HIS BEST: EQT  Drinking Man’s Friend, solo Howl.

9. Norton Buffalo (harp)
    Buffalo was the bomb, playing on so many great albums and jamming live during the heyday of Southern Rock. AT HIS BEST: The Marshall Tucker Band Dedicated, Commander Cody We’ve Got a Live One Here.
10. Edgar Winter (sax, keys, percussion) The jury is still out as to whether Edgar can be called a “Southern rocker.” Hell, he is from Texas, and he plays rock, jazz, blues and gospel equally well. I love him, so here he is. A monster sax player and excellent percussionist. AT HIS BEST: “Frankenstein” (Keys, synth, drums, sax); Edgar Winter’s White Trash Roadwork album.

That's all, y'all!

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