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Aynt Skynyrd… but sure sounds like ‘em. What’s more the authentic show these folks put on sure looks like ‘em! Lynyrd Skynyrd were (are) the definitive Southern Rock Band and watching and listening to Aynt Skynyrd lets the audience know these guy’s have got to be the definitive UK Skynyrd tribute band.
Whilst the members of this outfit may not be carbon copies of the originals visually, like a good whisky, they are infused with many flavours which once tasted leaves audiences replete with authenticity yet craving for more. Musically there is no doubt as to what you’re getting here: ‘Southern Fried, Smokey Bourbon, Florida distilled Rock ‘N’ Roll!’ The craftsmanship displayed musically and vocally by this band leaves no doubt that a thorough musical apprenticeship has been served and honed all over the world.
Though of British heritage, the cornucopia of everything Skynyrd cascades out from the very soul of these performers. This is what Lynyrd Skynyrd were all about? Influenced by British Bands (thus completing the circle) their music comes from somewhere deep down inside. To paraphrase the late great Ronnie Van Zant: ‘These boys (and girls) don’t come from out of Dixie, but Dixie sure comes out of these boys!’
So who is Aynt Skynyrd?
Well we got the Aynt Skynyrd Guitar Army (ASGA) Nick West, Andy Gooby, and Tim Stark. A.K.A. Allen Collins, Garry Rossington and Steve Gaines. These boys encompass the whole kaleidoscope of that famous Skynyrd guitar sound from blistering slide to down home country picking with two and three part harmonies thrown in for seasoning. Then there’s Billy Powell’s Honky Tonk but oft haunting piano sound that swirls and teases and colours the rich tapestry that is Skynyrd-song. You got Dave Barker to thank for that.
Underpinning and holding this jambalaya of ‘junkin’ together is Tivvy Gomersal the powerhouse drummer- Artymus Pyle, watch Tiv play and you think, whoa, that is Artymus! Couple this with the driving groove loaded bass lines of Nyge ‘The doc’ Blake, laid down like an M60 in a fire-fight and you would swear Leon Wilkeson, complete with hats has come back for the ride too. A real V8 of a rhythm section. As a counter point to all this Aynt Skynyrd got their own Honketts, the Angel voiced Angela Hartley and daughter (in true Skynyrd style!) Emma Hartley. Skynyrd had three lovely ladies Aynt Skynyrd. got two but what you hear is just as true! Their dancin’ is easy on the eye as well fellahs…
Now we’re getting to it, the man up front the focal point, Mr Southern Rock himself the late great lamented, Ronnie Van Zant. Takes a big man to take on this role vocally and personality wise and Mick Sawyer does just that. Ronnie was a deep, thoughtful man with an insight into many aspects of life; all this came out through his songs via that unique voice. Watch and listen to Mick deliver all that… Ronnie from Jacksonville FLA. has a true brother in Mick from Yearsley Grove NY.
Skynyrd were all about family and loyalty and Aynt Skynyrd’s family wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Mally McCafferty the sound engineer who captures that sound for the band where ever they go. An accomplished performer in his own right Mally takes on the equally important engineer role for the Aynt Skynyrd family.
The confederate flag bears thirteen stars.
Watch ten of ‘em shine real bright when Aynt Skynyrd hit the boards to deliver a very special show. The South HAS Risen again.
One could argue that the notion of a ‘tribute’ to Lynyrd Skynyrd undermines this idea of authenticity. Another side of the debate may point out that a tribute is the showing of ultimate respect. Aynt Skynyrd prefers the latter, as forming the band was not an overnight decision. Playing the songs was something we had been doing for years. The Freebird solo was the first lick we learnt to play on guitar. To play it in a band at every gig for ten years and still get a shiver down our spine is down to pure love of a band that defined a generation