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Lynyrd Skynyrd and Montgomery Gentry

Thursday, March 17 (Montgomery Gentry), and Friday, March 18 (Lynyrd Skynyrd), at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Reliant Center, 1 Reliant Park, 832-667-1400.

If you own and display the rebel flag in some form -- or even if you find it distasteful but have a thing for Dixie -- here's a two-night serving of gen-u-wine Southern rock meat-and-three with a Jim Beam chaser. Lynyrd Skynyrd needs no introduction by now, though you may need to buy the tour program to discern just who is in the band as well as who is still alive (hint: original members Gary Rossington and Billy Powell remain, and the singer is Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother Johnny). A sampling of tunes from their most recent studio album, Vicious Cycle, proves the sound is intact, even if the old majesty is gone, like Tuesday, with the wind. Kentucky boys Montgomery Gentry could be the country cousins of the Florida Van Zant clan, and their song "Hell Yeah" from the My Town album is as rowdy a rebel rouser as "Sweet Home Alabama." Yeah, they're a little more country, but still fairly well to the left of the usual Music Row tripe. And with young bands like Drive By Truckers bringing the sound back, looks like the South is doing it again.

 
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