Southern Rock’s Finest – Members from Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws, and Pure Prairie League and more joined up to make some great southern rock music at Citrus County’s Wallace Brooks Park main stage during Cooterfest 2010.
Who would’ve thought guys like these would play in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere Florida for a Cooter-festival no less? I heard that! There’s no sniggering here! A cooter is a TURTLE folks. Get your minds out of the gutter. Ha! Just kidding, I laughed too when I first heard of it, in fact, I almost lost it completely when we first moved to Citrus County and I saw the large billboard advertising the annual festival with COOTERFEST in giant letters.( I wonder who came up with that name?) Anyway, get all your cooter info below:
Read all about the Legend of the Cooter and the Cooterfest here and here.
So, just a couple weeks ago my better half (after finishing his daily news-paper reading ritual) mentions to me that we were in for a real treat this coming weekend….that a band called Southern Rock’s Finest would be performing a free show at the Cooterfest this year. (its really an annual local Halloween festival that draws more people every year…this year tens of thousands showed up).
“Who?” I asked.
While simultaneously arching his eyebrows in disbelief and pushing his nose in my face he gushed,
“Oh, Southern Rock’s Finest is a band composed of a few members from Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws, Commander Cody, and Pure Prairie League and more, it’ll be AWESOME!!!”.
Then the corners of his mouth turned up in a closed smile, and his eyebrows waited there hovering in anxious anticipation for my answer.
After squinting and squishing my nose in his direction I answered a simple, “Oh…, whatever honey”.
“Whatever??!!” he whined.
Now, I’d heard of Lynyrd Skynyrd, (I mean who hasn’t screamedFREEBIRD! at a rock show?), the Allman Brothers, the Marshall Tucker Band, and even The Outlaws, but Commander Cody and Pure Prairie League? Never heard of them, nope, and still really don’t know who they are…but he says they’re a great southern rock band and,
“What did I know about good music anyway?”, he grumbled to himself.
Then his eyes got real big and bulgy, threatening to pop out of his head, and while he was squeezing his hands into fists,( I could tell he wasn’t too happy with my non-chalant response to his announcement) he said,
“I thought you’d be more excited about it?!…they’ll be GREAT!, I just know it, and it’s a FREEE show, did I mention that?”.
“Yeah”, I muttered, “you did”.
“Well?…..”, he tapped his shoe impatiently waiting for an answer.
“Ok, honey”, I said. “I’m sure we’ll go and have a really good time”.
I guess he was waiting for a different answer because he stomped off with furrowed brows and muttering something about “just doesn’t understand….”.
Oh well, you can’t please ’em all the time, and in his defense, we did end up having a really great time at the free concert. ( I surely wasn’t going to tell him that… he was gloating most of the day anyway, and I didn’t want to give him any ammunition to use later).
But all in all it was a gorgeous day; skies were clear, the sun was beating down at about 89 degrees, and it was pretty cool seeing all of the Lynyrd Skynyrd memorabilia exhibition items…those signed guitars, and old album covers were awesome, the gold records, and they even had (enclosed in a glass case) Leon Wilkerson’s hat that survived the infamous 1977 plane crash that killed most of the band. I even put some videos of their show on YouTube. Here’s the Slideshow I made
You can see “Gimme 3 Steps” here and Freebird at the end of the show here if you want, but just a warning…my camera has crappy audio and even gives out at one point, (that bleedin’ camera of mine goes through more damn batteries than I can keep up with) but I think you’ll get the gist of it. During “Gimme 3 Steps ” if you watch long enough, I get the camera close for a perfect jammin’ session. Those guys have perfect timing!
Here’s to Southern Rock’s Finest for putting on a great show even in the sunny heat, and proving to me that maybe my better half DOES know something about good music. Thanks for coming to our little neck of the woods, you made our day :)
p.s. His favorite song that day was Marshall Tucker’s“Can’t You See”. It was so sweet seeing him get all sentimental. He even sang along and he rarely does that at any concert. I almost cried when he sang to me, “Can’t you see, oh, can’t you see, what that woman, she been doin’ to me….”
I guess he does still love me…well, maybe that’s what he meant. Even if he didn’t, I’m still telling myself that!
Here’s a little about the members of Southern Rocks Finest:
Former drummer of Lynyrd Skynrd the most well known band of Southern Rock. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame player and survivor of the most talked about plane crash in history. Artimus has been through a lot in his life and stands proud as a former Marine of the UNITED STATES. Still rockin’ like he is 21 and fresh in the band. We welcome him to Southern Rocks Finest.
(by the way…Artimus did put on quite a show! He was swingin’ from the rafters like he was in his teens, that guy has more energy than I do! His energy brought a lot to the show, he was great!).
DAN TOLER- Lead Guitar;
Former member of the Allman Brothers Band(Arista Records), the Greg Allman Band(the hit “I’m No Angel”), and Dicky Betts & Great Southern.(Capricorn Records). He also led the Dan Toler Band, TGZ, and the Toler Brothers with Frankie Toler (Allman Bros/ Marshall Tucker/Greg Allman Band). Dan has also performed and/or recorded with Charlie Daniels, Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones/Allman Bros./Sea Level), Jimmy Hall ( Wet Willie/Jeff Beck/Hank williams Jr.),George McCorkle (Marshall Tucker band/Ghostriders), Bonnie Bramlett (Delaney & Bonnie/ Eric Clapton/Allman Bros.), Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughn) John Townsend (Sanford-Townsend Band). He is currently the leader of The Dan Toler Band and is a sought after session player worldwide.
GARY GUZZARDO- Drums;
Former member of the Marshall Tucker Band(Capricorn Records) and Chris Anderson Band(the Outlaws). Gary has also performed with Rick Derringer, Joe Walsh, and Stephen Stills, Charlie Daniels, Tom Peterson (Cheap Trick). Gary is currently drumming for The Dan Toler Band.He is also a Producer and a world class session Drummer.
PHIL STOKES- /Bass/Vocals;
Former member of Pure Prairie League(RCA Records). Phil has performed and/or recorded with Charlie Daniels, Classic Southern Rockers with Bob Burns (Lynyrd Skynyrd) & Randall Hall (Lynyrd Skynyrd), George McCorkle (Marshall Tucker/Ghostriders), ,Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, James Burton (guitarist for Elvis Presley/Ricky Nelson), Pat Travers, Sleepy LaBeef (rockabilly legend) , The Jordanaires (backup vocal group for Elvis Presley/Ricky Nelson/Jerry Lee Lewis), Merrilee Rush (hit record “Angel of the Morning”), Mark Chatfeild (Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band/Godz), Dennis Yost & the Classics Four (“hit record “Spooky”), Jimmy Gunn (Brooks & Dunn). Phil also has recorded with Craig Fuller (Little Feat/Pure Prairie League/ the Fuller-Kaz Group/American Flyer), Jeff Fenholt (Black Sabbath/Lead role in broadway play”Jesus Christ Superstar”), Randall Hall (Skynyrd), Johnny Neel (Allman Bros.),George McCorkle (Marshall Tucker/Ghostriders), Charlie Allen (Asperion Records), and Gretchen Wilson. Phil was a member of J.D. Blackfoot (Mercury Records), ,Shakedown (Qfm 96 Records-Columbus Ohio), The Elvis Extravaganza Show . Phil is Currently with the Ghost Riders (Phoenix Records-Germany/Europe) & (Speedway Records Records- U.S.A.), The Alex Ivanov Group, and “The Phil Stokes Band” (Tampa Bay Florida). He is also a sought after session player around the world.
DAVID MUSE -Keyboards/Sax/Flute/Vocals
Played with Marshall Tucker Band and was a founding member of the million selling group – Firefall. Dave is currently a member of The Ghostriders (Phoenix Records-Germany & Europe) and (Speedway Records – U.S.)
DAVE VALLIERE -Guitar/Vocals/
Played with Bob Burns(Project(Skynyrd) and performed with Molly Hatchet …… .Dave is a former member of the Ghostriders. He also toured worldwide with the Platters. He is currently the leader of The Dave Valliere Group.
BRETT WADAMS (aka Buster Chopz)- Percussion &Drums
Former member of Commander Cody….. Buster is currently a member of the Ghostriders (Phoenix Records- Germany- Europe) & (Speedway Records U.S.).
JIMMY SEXTON- Guitar/vocals
Former member of The Artimus Pyle Band (Skynyrd) and current member of The Ghostriders (Phoenix Records -Germany + Europe) & (Speedway records – U.S.).
CHARLIE HARGRETT – guitar –
Founding and current member of BLACKFOOT(Epic records).
DAVID DIX –
Former member of THE OUTLAWS(CBS records).
TIM HEDING – keyboards –
Former member of THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND, GREG ALLMAN BAND, DELANEY & BONNIE,and THE JAMES BROWN REVUE).
Influences are ; Ronnie VanZant, Duane Allman, Toy Caldwell, Danny Joe Brown, Hughie Thomassen, Mike Connor, Steve Gaines, Berry Oakley, George McCorkle, Billy Powell ,Duane Roland, Billy Jones, Leon Wilkerson, Lamar Williams, Tommy Caldwell, Frank O’Keefe, Allen Collins, Cassie Gaines, and Stevie Ray Vaughn . ………… YOU ARE GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN- SOUTHERN ROCK WILL LIVE FOREVER !!!!!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
Read more: http://www.myspace.com/southernrocksfinest#ixzz14R7diauv
Resources & More Reading:
Slideshow of Cooterfest
Plane crash; http://www.tennesseeconcerts.com/planecrash.html
YouTube videos; Gimme 3 Steps” here and Freebird at the end of the show here
Southern Rocks Finest my space page