Wednesday, October 16, 2019

All New Issue of KUDZOO features the Band STYX

Issue #34 of America’s Only digital Southern music and food magazine, KUDZOO is now online! We sincerely hope you y’all dig it!

This issue, we have a one on one with the voice of STYX, Lawrence Gowan, who was in the middle of a huge tour in support of the band’s highly acclaimed concept album, The Mission. We are also pleased to present our first story written by Brennan Carley, an excellent researcher and writer. Brennan interviews Gregg Allman band guitarist Scott Sharrard and Gregg’s closest friend, Chank Middleton, regarding Gregg’s final days and final album, Southern Blood.

There’s a short interview with yours truly turned in by Angelo Saska, and we pay tribute to the many rockers who have passed away since last issue. After layout was complete we lost two more. So sad. Larry Junstrom, bassist from 38 Special (and original bassist of Lynyrd Skynyrd) and Cream drummer, the one and only Ginger Baker.

There are plenty of new record reviews, books, DVD’s and more as well as photo features from Tom Bell and we announce your Class of 2019 for the Southern Rock Hall of Fame! . Electra, our resident rockin’ health write returns with her always interesting column. All of this plus reviews of new CD’s, DVD’s, books and live shows, plus a few recipes from the Southern kitchen.

We have a special playlist posted on Spotify to pair with this issue. Listen while you read! Check it out!

We just recieved word of a new DVD coming out called I’ll Never Forget You that retraces the last 72 hours of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd, leading up to and following the tragic airplane crash. It looks good, and we are eager to write about it. Hopefully, it will actually be released. We all know how some people are very protective of the Skynyrd legend. But we look forward to a viewing. Y’all take care. See you next issue.

Thanks a bunch for reading! 
Until next time, y’all keep on rocking’!  


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

New Issue of KUDZOO featuring Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters!

Issue #32 of America’s Only digital Southern music and food magazine, KUDZOO is available NOW! Access is FREE, as always, at KUDZOO.COM. We sincerely hope you y’all dig it!

This issue, we revisit our buddies The Boxmasters, for a nice conversation with Bud Thornton and J.D. Andrew about the new album Speck, and the new summer tour! 

We continue our year-long celebration of 50 years of Allman Brothers Band music with an archival interview with former Brother turned Rolling Stone, Chuck Leavell. There is also a photo tribute to the one and only Mama Louise, the Brothers’ second mom!

As always, Couch Potato is a little rundown of fun stuff I found on the idiot box. I still say a guy could get Netflix and You Tube and have more than enough content for a lifetime!

We shine the spotlight on something old (Potliquor) and something new (Dorothy) and remember a couple of major Southern Rock losses recently, our brothers Phil McCormack of Molly Hatchet and JR Cobb of the Atlanta Rhythm Section.

As always, there are numerous book reviews and CD reviews, and we also offer a few tasty and easy recipes shared with us by some great southern rock stars!

Hot time, summer in the city! No more bitching about being cold, that’s for sure. It’s topping 90 today, but the sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy! 

Thanks a bunch for reading! Drop us an email with comments, please!

Until next time, y’all keep on rocking’!  

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall: The Rolling Thunder Review Box

Bob Dylan
The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings  

Sometimes I ask myself the question, “How much is too much?” I mean, I was quite excited
to receive the new Rolling Thunder boxed set­­, but at 14-discs, it’s almost Dylan overload. Hearing endless versions of “One More Cup of Coffee,” “Hurricane,” “Isis” and others makes me feel that the producers could have just chosen the best version of each song played during the tour and kept the set to a reasonable length. That said, there are very many highlights during these concerts and rehearsals, all recorded in 1975. The band and Bobby sound at the top of their game during their show from Harvard Square Theatre, Cambridge, MA, from “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” to “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” to “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry.” The energy never lets up during the entire show. “Hurricane” is delivered with heart and passion, as is “Simple Twist of Fate” and “Romance in Durango.”
The Rolling Thunder Review took place in 1975 and ’76, and consisted of two “legs,” touring the USA and Canada, with Dylan’s album Desire dropping in between the two legs of the tour. The stage was packed with musicians, including the band he used for his new album, as well as Joan Baez, who opened most of the second sets with Bob dueting on “Blowin’ In the Wind;” Joni Mitchell; Ronee Blakely and many more.
There are S.I.R. Studio rehearsals, Seacrest Motel rehearsals, and full shows from Worcester, MA; Boston; and Montreal; as well as live tracks from New York City; Lowell, MA; Providence, RI; Tuscarora Reservation, NY; Augusta, ME; and a version of “Hurricane” from Madison Square Garden and the benefit “Night of the Hurricane.”
Martin Scorsese’s feature documentary on the Review began airing on Netflix in June. The voluminous back story and history of Rolling Thunder truly helps one appreciate this massive undertaking. It is truly an exhaustive archive of a tour that was panned by some and praised by others in the media. As for this writer, even given my bitching about it being “too much,” I think it contains some of Dylan’s finest live work ever recorded.

 -Michael Buffalo Smith

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Taste of Potliquor

At 61 years of age, I always find it a thrill when friends turn me onto music that I didn’t know about, or bands I had simply not given their due. Like Black Stone Cherry, which my friend Scott Greene came off of the Southern Rock Cruise raving about, or the Steel Woods, the new favorite band of my buddy Dave Peck, I am always amazed by these newer bands. Of course, there are also many old-school bands that somehow slipped under my radar. One of these is a band called Potliquor. I had heard their name but never their music, until a friend gifted me with their entire four LP discography. After listening to the tracks a few times, I came to the somewhat startling realization that I had truly missed out on something very special. Of course, as they say, better late than never!

Potliquor was formed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1969 by George Ratzlaff and Guy Schaeffer after the breakup of a successful cover band named the Basement Wall. The band played a mix of country, blues and southern rock, and did it very well. They released three excellent albums between 1970 and 1973 and one more in 1979 before breaking up. Much like fellow Southern rockers Eric Quincy Tate, Potliquor never got the recognition they deserved.
Their debut album, First Taste was produced by the band’s manager, Jim Brown and came out in 1970. It’s a tight collection that includes a rocking “You’re No Good” (yes, the same song that Linda Ronstadt had a hit with), along with pure New Orleans vibes of “Down the River Boogie,” and “Riverboat.” “Toballby” is a real drum workout, and I found myself cranking the volume and pretty near dancing in my seat. Killer stuff.

Potliquor’s sophomore effort, Levee Blues was released in December 1971 and is considered their best album by many. It’s a tight set for sure, starting with “Cheer” with its Bo Diddley beat, and moving into the piano-heavy “The Train,” a serious rocker. The title track, “Levee Blues” is a truly great jam, and in an interesting move, the band does another version of “You’re No Good,” rocking it up even more, before dishing up a nice cover of the Beatles “Lady Madonna.” “When God Dips His Love in My Heart” is a 58-second tease that works well to lead into “Beyond the River of Jordan.”

Louisiana Rock and Roll came in 1973. By now they were dishing out a Molly Hatchet style of heavy boogie, and had some fine tracks like “Waiting for Me at the River,” the classic rock and roll hit “Rip it Up,” and the title track “Louisiana Rock and Roll,” but somehow, they never caught on nationally, and were considered regional favorites

In 1974, the band took a break until original bass player Guy Schaeffer and drummer Jerry Amoroso put the band back together by adding Steve Sather and Mike McQuaig to guitars. They released one more self-titled album through Capitol Records, but fans found their new, more radio- friendly approach lacking the southern groove of previous albums. The band broke up soon after that.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Surrender (to) Dorothy

Not all great rock and roll is from the south. Hard to believe, I know. A friend of mine dropped by last week to jam/rehearse some music, and she was sporting a Dorothy t-shirt, so I asked about it. The photo on the shirt was a drop dead gorgeous dark haired chick. Turns out, the girl is called Dorothy, the lead singer of the band of the same name, based out of Los Angeles.

Later that day I got online and read about the band, looked at photos of the red-hot singer and watched all available videos on You Tube. It turns out they had recorded an EP and then their first full -length album Rock is Dead.  Last year saw the release of their latest, 28 Days in the Valley, a fine follow up. The primary difference is Dorothy’s slight change in style. On Rock is Dead, it was like the energy of Heart and Janis Joplin filtered through the Runaways, a gut punch from an iron fist. On 28 Days, the sound is much more psychedelic, and Dorothy is obviously channeling her San Francisco heroine, Grace Slick, especially on the second track, “Who Do You Love.” She truly goes full-on Gracie. The single from the album, “Flawless” is as catchy as anything on Rock is Dead, but the remainder of the LP is a bit stiff. That being said, it is still better than the vast majority of albums being released today. Dorothy brings me that same feeling that I remember from my first introductions to Kate Bush and David Bowie, although she sounds nothing like either of them. Something reminds of Amy Lee and Evanescence, again however, not sonic wise. Perhaps it’s just the thought of beautiful girls who can rock. Heck, I felt that in 1975 with Heart and with Suzi Quatro. Nothing new there.

I feel like I have been awakened. In an age when there are so many bands out there, and as a music writer I receive about 20-25 discs per week, it’s a sheer joy to hear and see something fresh and exciting, Thanks, Karen. I needed something to take me over the rainbow, and nobody does that better than Dorothy.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Delays & Writing My Fingers to the Bone

Well, 2019 is off to quite a start. Medical issues that started back in July kind of put the brakes on my promotional appearances for both the new book and the album. The latest album, Makin it Back to Macon, is out there and doing well. We have received airplay on some fine radio stations worldwide, and we thank you! We are gearing up for a “relaunch” soon to get the word out about the album which was produced by the legendary Paul Hornsby of Capricorn Records fame in Macon, Georgia. Paul also plays some fine Wurlitzer on the disc, and another true star, Tommy Talton (Cowboy) contributed some fine guitar, slide and Dobro. The cast is rounded out by the world’s greatest left- handed drummer, Towson Engsberg (Tommy Crain & the Crosstown Allstars); Joey Parris on bass (Silver Travis Band); Daniel Jackson on guitar (Silver Travis); Greg Yeary on guitar (my long time band mate and cowriter); Texas Honky Tonk Hero Billy Eli; and the great EG KIght on vocals. It’s my first full-length release since 2005 and I feel like its my best. I hope you’ll check it out. You can order directly from me or from CDBaby, Amazon and other online retailers.
My current book is doing well also, and we plan a reboot on that as well. I was unable to do my usual book signings and hope to do a few. The book is a follow up to CAPRICORN RISING, andother collection of southern rock interviews with members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackberry Smoke, Gov’t Mule, Molly Hatchet, the Outlaws and many more. It is called From Macon to Jacksonville: More Conversations in Southern Rock and is also on the Mercer University Press. I was proud to have Charlie Starr from Blackberry Smoke write the foreword. The book is also available from me direct, or from, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all fine online retailers.
August will see the publication of my next book, The Road Goes On Forever: 50 Years of Allman Brothers Band Music (Mercer) and we are very excited about it. Chuck Levell kindly wrote the foreword. I am also happily working with Paul Hornsby on his biography, which will be released in 2020. The man is a walking music history lesson! I’m learning from him every day!

One final note, we recently opened a “one-stop shop” online for ordering our books and CD’s. I hope y’all will check it out here

Thank you kindly for the support and kindness. I hope to see many of you soon!
God bless. MBS

Me and Paul. 

KUDZOO Publishes Special Rock Movie Issue!

The new issue of KUDZOO magazine is online! Issue (#31) features the Greatest Rock and Roll Movies ever made!; an archival interview with RED DOG of THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND! ; a memorial to KOFI BURBRIDGE; THE SOUTHERN ROCK CRUISE! Rock Legends Cruise 7!  Concert reviews of Charlie Starr and Benji Shanks, Tedeschi Trucks with Marcus King! The Rock and Roll Health Chuck recalls the 1960's; Plenty of CD Reviews, BOOK reviews, WINE reviews,  recipes and much more, all for FREE!  Just CLICK HERE to read! Please let us know what you think! We welcome LETTERS to the editor at