While Bishop Gunn and Kings of Leon epitomize modern southern rock, North Carolina native Eric Church owns this niche within country circles. Church solidified that sound in an ode to the genre’s classic era via aptly named “Lynyrd Skynyrd Jones.”

Released the first Friday in February, Eric Church employed a storytelling technique made famous by The Rolling Stones in “Sympathy for the Devil.” In Church’s riddle however, the mysterious individual was the title-character’s father. The listener has been gifted lyrical breadcrumbs leading to that man’s identity. For those ill-versed in the Jacksonville-formed band’s catalogue, this soulful narrative can live on its own.

The track followed a fictional protagonist, conceived of passion after a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. Growing up fatherless and mixed-race in Alabama, the unloved, lonely teen found family in a beat-up guitar. The boy embraced plucking abilities no doubt tied to natural inclinations. A respite during the life of his mother, who didn’t care for the man who walked out on them. She went so far as to chastise her son when he broached the subject. That break from scolding was concretized upon her entrance to the afterlife, aided by a surprise reunion at her funeral.

Though the song left the listener wondering whether Lynyrd and his father were able to work out their complicated history, there was a swelling hope that their shared passion paved the way. That the preceding years matured this paternal figure Church directly sung about on the 2010 album Sweet Home Alabama – The Country Music Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd. For those familiar with Curtis Loew’s addiction, his potential redemption would deserve applause.

The forthcoming twenty-four songs created over twenty-eight days in North Carolina’s mountains will be available for live audiences, as he’s vowed to get on the road here real soon. Check out this track that will be part of an April 2021 triple album Heart & Soul. Two types of energy displayed on par with singer-songwriter Isak Danielson in his musical theatre register for “Face my Fears.”

Official lyric video via Eric Church on YouTube

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