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Just What is GRITZ ?

Posted: Mar 18, 2008

This year GRITZ celebrates our tenth year online. Over the past decade we have gone through a lot of changes, and enjoyed the contributions of a lot of great writers, photographers and artists. A little over a year ago, GRITZ became a part of Swampland Media, and went from being a web magazine to being something much larger, a comprehensive data base for Southern Rock and new country music. All of that plus a whole lot of memories, dispatches and opinion from yours truly, someone who grew up in the heart of the original Southern Rock scene.

GRITZ brings together the classic artists of the original Southern Rock era, along with the new generation of Southern Rockers, and today’s hottest country artists, most of whom grew up loving Southern Rock.

Today’s new country is drenched in Southern Rock influence, from Montgomery Gentry to Tim McGraw, Big & Rich, Rascal Flats, Gretchen Wilson, Travis Tritt, along with newer artists like Lady Antebellum, Bo Bice, Bucky Covington and Chris Cagle. By the same token, country radio is always playing classic Southern Rock, whether it be “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Heard it in a Love Song,” or a plethora of others. Suffice it to say, the lines have been blurred to a point where there is hardly a line between the genres at all.

Truth be told, if many of these new country artists had come along during the ‘70’s, they would have been Southern Rockers. And then you have country icons like Hank Williams, Jr., who was around during the original Southern Rock era, and has always laced his music with that Southern Rock influence, whether it be recording songs written by Toy Caldwell, touring with Skynyrd, or having Wet Willie’s Jimmy Hall as his band director. And Garth Brooks has expressed many times his love of the genre, going as far as to write a hit song for Marshall Tucker in the 1990’s called “Walk Outside the Lines.”

Eddie Montgomery told me about his love of Southern Rock during an interview in 2007.

“I woke up and went to sleep with that stuff (Southern Rock). When I was growing up we said “it’s not your daddy’s country music.” I remember the first time I heard Charlie (Daniels) and the Skynyrd band, and Tucker. 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.”

With GRITZ, we have established ourselves as the original source for Southern Rock, but we are also keeping our eyes and ears on all of the great country music coming down the pike, washed in Southern Rock influence.

Chris Cagle spoke of his Southern Rock roots in a GRITZ interview last year.

“But for me, I was more Southern Rock growing up than I was country, which I think kind of makes me more redneck than cowboy. Which, I don’t mind. You can call me whatever you want to. I’m not redneck and I’m not a true cowboy. (I liked) 38 Special,The Allman Brothers, Charlie Daniels was country, but to me he was Southern Rock. I thought Johnny Lee had a little bit of a rock feel to him.”

There’s no doubt that Southern Rock remains a major force in the music world today, from the classic artists of the original era, to young and upcoming Southern Rock bands and Dixie fried bands the world over, along with the many fans who have carried their love and respect of the original era into their music as country artists. And that is what GRITZ is all about. That is what we write about. It’s what we love.

Now bring all my mules out here and kick ‘em one time.

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.

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Benjamin1966 says...

Congrats Buffalo. I met you at a biker gig here in Mass. 2 years ago and have been reading Gritz every day since. Looking forward to another Buff cd as well. Coming soon??

PenneElk says...

Congratulations on ten years online!! I am proud to be celebrating my first year with you guys at Swampland. It has been a fantastic ride. I look forward to many more exciting years. Love your work! Penne/RiverVue

sarasmile says...

And I thought it was something you eat with biscuits and gravy. Seriously, I love what you are doing with it these days. Congratulations on 10 years. it could not have been easy. Thank you for all the great southern rock stories over the years. I have been reading Gritz since it was "Hot Grits." Ten years! Do I get a prize? Kidding of course.

coconut1955 says...

This explains why there are never any death metal reviews in Grits.

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