Zant - Get Right With the Man
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
the energy of brotherly love. That’s a good place to start.
Then capture the spirit of individual careers sure to leave a
legacy from being part of two chart-grabbing and hard-hitting
bands, Lynyrd Skynyrd and 38 Special. Keep the connection and
book the studio. Then set it loose and point a laser at it. The
recorded outcome is tough, true and hard rocking. For
Donnie and Johnny Van Zandt, their trek to the bruising side of
the charts is complete on Get Right With The Man
(Columbia). And many agree. The album scored praise for the
highest selling country debut album of 2005.
what an album it is. But, for those who don’t want to read on,
those on their way out the door to buy this – 4 Stars.
others: a little recapped history. Respected in music circles
for their robust profiles, Donnie’s known as the founding
member of 38 Special, the hard-cutting rock band he formed in
’75; and Johnny’s been the lead vocalist with Lynyrd Skynyrd
since their ’87 reformation. Both are the brothers of Ronnie
Van Zant, the founding force of Lynyrd Skynyrd, who died in a
plane crash while on the way between shows on October 20, 1977.
Before arriving at this latest album, Donnie and Johnny released
two efforts, Brother to Brother in 1998 and Van Zant
11 in 2001. Those albums not only claimed fan interest, but
kindled a brotherly wish. That wish was maybe not to step away
from their recognized hard-belted sweaty rock influences, but,
rather, move towards country -- or as Johnny shares at their web
site:” People ask us if we’ve gone country and I tell ‘em
we ain’t gone country. We were born country.”
how right they are. With a loud, brash and harder-edge than
maybe the purists will like, the boys and the band deliver. As
perfect partners to the hair and hat on offer, there are
blue-collar anthems, hard-pounded, thinking, heart-on-sleeve
gems, a peppering of Southern rock respect for God and country,
and a liberal dose of raw and compulsive barn burners. This is a
blast –wicked, primed, and on ignition, a big, bang boom.
explosion starts right from the first cut. “Takin’ Up
Space”, one of only four songs not written by the duo on the
11 track set, is a workers-tinged anthem that shares it’s
sentiment in the lyrics: “ Life’s too short to live in
caution/ but life’s too long not to live at all. And,”
Nobody Gonna Tell Me What Me What To Do” – ‘You might tell
me where to go, but their ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to
do’ – is a ballad pace tale of defiance and own rule
attitude. Both knockout tunes.
tracks that gain their swing, push and pull from steel, fiddle,
keyboards, drums and guitars, the album winds over some touching
balladry. The debut single “Help Somebody” spotlights not
only a strong song choice (Kip Raines/Jeffrey Steele), but a
vocal honesty that draws you into the story-line of community
and empathy with those who need some humanity. The boys work a
treat on the song, as they do on the touring related “Things I
Miss The Most”. Contrasted with life on the road with its
shadowed bars and hurried phone calls to home, to that place
where the kids are and the dog barks in the yard, to a field
where a lone tractor waits, the song touches the familiar in
anybody with a motel key and a guitar case.
obvious quality with this album is that it’s not a cobbled
effort of indulgent and yelled lyrics and screaming guitar
solos, often the musical tattoo branding similar outfits.
Rather, here it’s crafted music relying on lyrical style,
harmony, playing, and thought-responsive tunes. Simply: it’s
an album for the collection.
best tracks include those mentioned and the chorus inviting “I
Know My History”; the salvation-seeking “I Can’t Help
Myself” and “Been There Done That”, a revealing ode to
honesty and history.
and with a soft centre, patriotic, family values and God-fearing
– how many albums offer that variety? Get right with the man
and find out.
Right With The Man
To purchase the CD online just click on the album
cover on the left.
1. Takin' Up Space
2. Noobody Gonna Tell Me What to Do
3. Sweet Mama
4. Help Somebody
5. Things I Miss the Most
6. I Know My History
7. I Can't Help Myself
8. I'm Doin' Alright
9. Lovin' You
10. Plain Jane
11. Been There Done That
- Official Site
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I LOVE THESE GUYS SINGING TOGETHER, ITS LIKE THEY'VE KNOWN EACH OTHER ALL
THEIR LIVES [HAHA]. KEEP UP THE GREAT SONGS GUYS AND PLEASE COME PLAY SOUTHERN OREGON OR NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
~ Not Signed