With its European tour winding down during the next few days -- with shows Sunday (May 3) in Poland and Tuesday (May 5) in Finland -- Lynyrd Skynyrd will have a few weeks off before hitting North America for the summer, starting May 28 in Westbury, N.Y.
Guitarist Gary Rossington tells us he's very happy with the current edition of the band, though he still hears from those who don't feel it's valid because he's the only founding member left in the lineup:
"I want to keep the name of the band good and respected and it seems to be. There's a few people who might've through the years thought I was wrong to not do the originals, but we tell everybody and everybody knows it's not the original band; it's just this band playing their songs and music, and I think doing a great job of it...Some bands that don't keep doing it...They're great bands but they just kind of fade away 'cause you don't get to hear them anymore. So as long as we're doing this, I think the name stays at least a little relevant."
Later this year, Skynyrd will be releasing Lynyrd Skynyrd -- One More For the Fans!, a CD and DVD from a tribute concert last November in Atlanta featuring the band as well as Gregg Allman, Cheap Trick, Peter Frampton and others.
Meanwhile, Sweet Home Alabama, a 1996 concert on Germany`s "Rockpalast" TV show with bonus tracks from 1974, comes out on May 8. Skynyrd also recently performed both of its first two albums in their entirety in Jacksonville, Fla., which was filmed and recorded for future release.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.