While Skynyrd has lost numerous musicians over the years -- most famously Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, who died in a 1977 plane crash -- longtime members Gary Rossington, Johnny Van Zant and Rickey Medlocke have kept the tradition alive. Joining them on Last of a Dying Breed is longtime drummer Michael Cartellone and newbie bassist Johnny Colt, originally of the Black Crowes.
"It was great to get back in the studio with Bob for this new album," says Rossington. "We kind of went back old school this time. All of us playing together in the studio as a band, tracking songs and creating licks. We had a lot of fun and the music really flowed for us, so that's when you know you are on to something good. We can't wait to let the fans hear these songs and play 'em live."
Speaking of which, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers recently kicked off a tour that will keep them on the road -- with a few breaks here and there -- through late October. Expect extra-loud sing-alongs on Aug. 25, when Skynyrd plays the Amphitheater at the Wharf in -- you guessed it -- sweet home Alabama.
May 4: Pier Six Concert Pavilion, Baltimore, Md.
May 5: Celebrate Virginia Live, Fredericksburg, Va.
May 11: Virginia State Park Pavilion at Hooper Park Crewe, Va.
May 12: Harrahs Chester Downs, Chester, Pa.
May 18: Shooting Star Casino, Mahnomen, Minn.
May 19: Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Welch, Minn.
May 25: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, Ind.
May 26: Riverfest Amphitheatre, Little Rock, Ark.
July 6: Maddies Place, Kahnawake, QUE Canada
July 7: Buffalo Hill Village, Varysburg, N.Y.
July 8: Theatre at Westbury, Westbury, N.Y.
July 13: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.
July 14: Jackson County Fairgrounds, Jackson, Miss.
July 19: Great Jones County Fair, Monticello, Iowa
July 20: Jamboree in the Hills, Belmont, Ohio
July 21: FunFest @ Johnson Memorial Stadium, Kingsport, Tenn.
July 22: Bayside Toyota Pavilion Saint, Leonard, Md.
Aug. 3: Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, N.C.
Aug. 4: Time Warner Pavilion @Walnut Creek, Raleigh, N.C.
Aug. 9: Buffalo Chip Campground, Sturgis, S.D.
Aug. 11: Fortune Bay Resort and Casino, Tower, Minn.
Aug. 16: Sands Bethlehem Event Center, Bethlehem, Pa.
Aug. 17: Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, Conn.
Aug. 18: Havelock Country Jamboree, Havelock, ON Canada
Aug. 24: CenturyLink Center, Bossier City, La.
Aug. 25: Amphitheater at the Wharf, Orange Beach, Ala.
Aug. 31: Memphis Botanic Gardens, Memphis, Tenn.
Sept. 1: Turner Field, Atlanta, Ga.
Oct. 4: Paul Paul Theatre, Fresno, Calif.
Oct. 5: Stockton Arena, Stockton, Calif.
Oct. 6: The Mountain Winery, Saratoga, Calif.
Oct. 27: Simple Man Cruise 2012, Miami, Fla.