Van Zant, the sibling country-rock act featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s Johnny Van Zant and 38 Special singer Donnie Van Zant, released its first-ever live album last week, an archival recording titled Red, White & Blue (Live). The 14-song collection features performances from a January 2006 show the band played in Valdosta, Georgia, while promoting its 2005 country album, Get Right with the Man.
Johnny tells ABC Radio that he and Donnie initially put the recording aside, but revisited it about a year and a half ago after his brother came across a CD of the show and suggested that he give it another listen.
“[I] listened to it and went, ‘Wow, this is really good!'” Johnny recalls. “So [I] called Donnie right away and said, ‘Man, maybe we ought to look at this.'”
At the time of the concert, Van Zant was enjoying a top 10 country single, “Help Somebody.” The band’s set featured inspired renditions of that tune, several other songs from Get Right with the Man, and versions of tunes by the brothers’ respective other groups — 38 Special’s “Wild Eyed Southern Boys” and Skynyrd’s “Call Me the Breeze,” “Sweet Home Alabama” and the live album’s title track, “Red, White & Blue.”
Johnny tells ABC Radio that he “just loved” Van Zant’s set that day.
The Van Zant band hasn’t been active since 2007, and because hearing issues forced Donnie to retire from 38 Special in 2013, Johnny says he isn’t sure the group will ever tour again.
“Who knows what the heck the future will bring,” Johnny tells ABC Radio. “But we wanted to bring this [album] out. We thought, ‘Well, instead of letting it be on the shelf, [let’s] put it out and give it to the fans.’ So I hope they like it.”
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