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Lynyrd Skynyrd Likes Getting Rowdy With Hank Jr.

Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Rickey Medlocke

sees nothing particularly incongruous with the Southern rock band’s Rowdy Frynds Tour

with country veteran Hank Williams Jr.

“I think the barriers are down on a lot of stuff these days,” says Medlocke, 57, who was a drummer in one of Skynyrd’s early lineups and, after leading the band Blackfoot, rejoined the group in 1996. “And country’s really not country anymore — not what I’m used to being country, anyway.

“So putting somebody like Hank Jr. and ourselves together, it works because he’s not what you would call standard country anymore. The combination between both of us really works. We come from the same place even if we’re put into different genres.”

Medlocke, who spent many years in Ann Arbor, where Blackfoot’s management was based, says Skynyrd is currently working on new material, both within the band and with other writers. The group hopes to hit the studio later this year and release a new album — its first since 2003’s “Vicious Cycle” — in 2008.

Meanwhile, the band is happy playing enduring hits such as “Freebird” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” and Medlocke says there’s still plenty of value in that.

“I always urge everybody to come out and watch the bands,” he explains, “because there’s gonna come a time when those bands are gone and you won’t have them anymore. Once they’re gone, man, that era is done.

“So people should come out and see what it means to spend years and years on the road and have a lot of stories we can tell and things we’ve been through — and are still going through. You can actually see it and hear it now; one day you’re only gonna hear about it.”

The Rowdy Frynds Tour, featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr. and .38 Special, takes place 6:30 p.m. Saturday (May 12th) at The Palace, Lapeer Road at I -75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $25-$69.50, $59.50. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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