Much like jazz, Southern rock isn't just a musical genre, it's an institution, one that is interwoven into the fabric of 20th century American popular culture and is distinctly indigenous to American shores. As such, there have been countless anthologies and budget-line collections loosely assembling a smattering of the sound and its rich diversity, but nothing like this. Southern Rock: Gold isn't just an anthology, it's an anthropological and sociological document of some of the greatest rock music ever to come out of the American South, complete with a veritable who's who of the style…
It may open up with Aaron Neville's 1993 rendition of George Jones' classic "The Grand Tour," but Ace's 2012 compilation Behind Closed Doors: Where Country Meets Soul focuses on the golden age of country soul – the late '60s and early '70s, the age when the borders between these two strands of southern American music became decidedly blurring. And many of the 23 cuts on Behind Closed Doors are firmly within the Southern soul tradition – slow, smoky, gritty, and soulful, anchored by languid stride piano and buttressed by muscular horns.
Sweet Dreams: Where Country Meets Soul, Ace's second dip into the country-soul well, is every bit as good as its 2012 predecessor. Basically, it's cut from the same cloth as the first volume, concentrating on recordings from the late '60s but stretching deep into the '70s (Millie Jackson's "Sweet Music Man" dates from 1977), with Ted Taylor's 1962 "I'll Release You" and Orquestra Was' 1996 "Forever's a Long, Long Time Ago" functioning as de facto ringers. "Forever's a Long, Long Time Ago" may fit aesthetically but certainly not sonically, as it's a crisp digital blast on a collection devoted to warm, lush, analog soul.
If the release of Cold Cold Heart proves anything, it's that Where Country Meets Soul is one of Ace Records' most popular series of the 2010s. If this third volume proves anything else, it's that the well of country-soul has hardly been tapped dry by compiler Tony Rounce and the label. Apart from a handful of tracks cut in the early '60s right in the wake of Ray Charles' groundbreaking Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music plus a few sides cut in the disco era or later, Cold Cold Heart is firmly grounded in the late-'60s heyday of soul music.
One part rock, one part blues, a dash of country, two or three guitarists and a bottle of whiskey. Southern Rock exploded on the scene in the 70’s and is still going strong today. Will Sophie’s 50 Southern Rock Licks You MUST Know captures the very essence of this Americana phenomena. You’ll also have a blast in the shed with Will’s curriculum — especially working out all of the two-guitar harmonized parts that he’s very appropriately included.