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    Lynyrd Skynyrd

    Live from Austin TX

    Lynyrd Skynyrd - Live from Austin TX

    2006 | New West Records 

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    All Music Guide Review

    The award-winning PBS television show Austin City Limits, produced at KLRU-TV in Austin, TX, yielded a special series of DVDs (and some CDs) with the complete performances. Some songs were not originally broadcast. The DVDs feature specially remixed and remastered audio. Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd performed on the show on December 15, 1999, and the 67-minute concert is preserved on 2006's Live from Austin, TX DVD. The band was promoting the studio album Edge of Forever. Live from Austin, TX nicely captures the best lineup of the band -- guitarist Gary Rossington, pianist Billy Powell, bass guitarist Leon Wilkeson, vocalist Johnny Van Zant, guitarist Rick Medlocke (ex-Blackfoot), guitarist Hughie Thomasson (ex-Outlaws), drummer Michael Cartellone (ex-Damn Yankees), background vocalist Dale Rossington, and background vocalist Carol Chase -- since the group's tragic airplane crash in 1977. With each year that has passed since the 1987 reunion, Johnny Van Zant has seemed more relaxed and confident in the role of frontman. It has to be a somewhat impossible and thankless task replacing his iconic older brother, Ronnie Van Zant, who was the leader of the band. But he helps make sure that Lynyrd Skynyrd's music lives on. The show kicks off with the lively "Edge of Forever," one of the band's best originals with Johnny Van Zant behind the microphone. "What's Your Name" and a blistering "That Smell" follow. Lynyrd Skynyrd reward longtime fans by looking back to five well-known songs that aren't quite as pervasive on the radio as the obvious smashes, and they are connected on a medley of "Down South Jukin'," "Needle and the Spoon," "Whiskey Rock a Roller," "Swamp Music," and "The Ballad of Curtis Loew." The other standout Edge of Forever song, the blue-collar salute "Workin'," follows the medley. The energy is really ratcheted up from this point on. "Gimme Three Steps" is followed by a scorching interpretation of Jimmie Rodgers' "T for Texas." "Sweet Home Alabama" winds up the regular set. They return for the obvious encore, "Free Bird," which opens with a Powell piano solo. Medlocke and Thomasson storm through the famous end jam (certainly one of the most exhilarating finales of any song in the history of rock & roll). Live from Austin, TX shows Lynyrd Skynyrd's dogged reliability as a terrific live act. ~ Bret Adams, Rovi

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