Originally Published: October 22, 2014 6 a.m.
Southbound and Company musicians will head northbound from the Valley on Sunday, loaded with Lynyrd Skynyrd melodies for a show at the Elks theatre and Performing Arts Center.
The original Lynyrd Skynyrd band, which dates back more than 40 years, was all but decimated in 1977 by deaths of three of its band members. Then the band lost four more in years that followed. In spite of these tragedies, an ensemble eventually formed to revitalize the powerhouse. Founders of the first band rose to fame with their southern hard-rock genre in the 1970s, popularizing tunes such as "Free Bird" and "Sweet Home Alabama."
The idea to form a band paying tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd sits with Southern Californian Darryl Reed, who followed his dream to start such a band three years ago. He brought up the idea to musicians Mike Finn, Mike Hunter and Pete Madary.
"I was always a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan," Reed said. Finn, Hunter and Madary played rock, but Reed had performed mostly country music, he said. "So, it was a pretty good blend."
Reed comes from West Palm Beach, Fla., "For some reason, Southern rock hits my soul," he said. "I grew up on the Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, Marshall Tucker and Charlie Daniels, being from the South," he said.
His brother was a rock and roll fan, and his father, a country music aficionado. "I fell into the middle. I gravitated to the center," Reed said. Now that he is older, Reed said he enjoys all music, but country ranks high with him, too.
Tickets to the 7 p.m. performance are $22/$25 and are available at the Elks box office by calling 777-1370, by logging onto prescottelkstheater.com or at the door one hour be for show time.
Legend has it that the Lynyrd Skynyrd founders names their band for their high school gym teacher, Leonard Skinner. Skinner's name remains linked to the Southern rock band.
Sunday's tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd will feature the group;s hits, with some tunes of other bands - Allman Brothers, Molly Hatchet and 38 Special mixed in, Reed said.
The band is made up of Reed, Finn, Hunter and Madary, and joined by Patrick Vargas on piano and organ, Rick Dekker on guitar and back-up singers Shaun Bennadou and Rachel Mendivel.