Southern rock has long been an iconic genre, celebrating the spirit of American culture through its guitar-driven songs and powerful storytelling. At the heart of this movement is Lynyrd Skynyrd, which was formed in Florida in 1964.
Lynyrd Skynyrd was instrumental in popularizing the Southern rock genre, evident in their hits “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird.” In 2006, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
With more than 28 million records sold in the US alone, it’s no wonder fans are eager to discover more similar bads. In this post, we’ll discover 13 amazing bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd. Have fun reading!
1. The Allman Brothers Band
Starting our list is The Allman Brothers Band, one of the pioneers of Southern rock. Their unique sound is rooted in blues, country, and rock and roll. This recipe for success captivated audiences during their heyday in the 1970s.
The relationship between The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd runs deep. Both bands hold an esteemed position among the most incredible Southern rock acts of all time.
They shared stages with other renowned groups such as ZZ Top and Marshall Tucker Band while continuing to inspire new talents like Chris Stapleton.
Despite facing lineup changes over the years for various reasons, the band remains popular today because of its influence on subsequent generations of musicians.
2. ZZ Top
Emerging from the heart of Texas in 1969, ZZ Top has become one of the most iconic Southern rock bands. They are known for blending elements of blues, hard rock, and boogie-woogie grooves. For their accomplishments, ZZ Top has earned a place alongside fellow greats such as Lynyrd Skynyrd.
ZZ Top released their debut studio album in 1971 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. In between, they sold over 50 million albums worldwide – solidifying their status as music legends.
Excitingly enough for classic rock enthusiasts, ZZ Top will be co-headlining a summer tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd in 2023. With both bands being inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, audiences can anticipate nights filled with exemplary performances that showcase each group’s musical prowess.
3. Molly Hatchet
Up next on our list is Molly Hatchet, a rock band founded seven years after Lynyrd Skynyrd. These two bands have a lot in common, starting with their place of origin.
Founded in 1971 by guitarist Dave Hlubek, Lynyrd Skynyrd strongly influenced the group. They shared a similar sound and style that resonated with their fans.
“Molly Hatchet” derives from an infamous prostitute who gruesomely murdered her clients using an axe. This unique moniker added mystery and intrigue to the band’s appeal while showcasing their daring approach on stage.
From Jacksonville bars to national prominence, Molly Hatchet has blazed a trail for other southern rock bands aspiring to follow in their footsteps.
4. 38 Special
Another band that shares many similarities with Lynyrd Skynyrd is 38 Special. Formed in 1974, the band also hailed from Jacksonville, Florida. They rose around the same time as other famous Southern rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd.
For those who didn’t know, 38 Special’s co-founder Donnie Van Zant, is brother to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s vocalist Ronnie Van Zant.
38 Special’s start in the industry was not smooth sailing. Initially, they struggled to break through into the mainstream music scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The secret turned out to be a shift in genre. The band’s first two albums featured a Southern rock influence. The subsequent albums showed a guitar-driven arena rock style, which was all they needed to get a boost.
Some of their successful hits include “Rockin’ into the Night,” Hold On Loosely,” and “Caught Up in You.”
5. The Marshall Tucker Band
If you’re looking for bands similar to Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band is also a good start. Formed in South Carolina in 1972, they quickly gained national recognition. Like Lynyrd Skynyrd, they blended elements of blues and country into their songs.
Their significance to the Southern rock genre cannot be overstated enough. The bands both contributed to popularizing and establishing it in the 1970s.
The contributions of the bands’ vocalists are also a point of similarity. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zant delivered their songs with his powerful voice. Doug Gray of The Marshall Tucker Band also lent his versatile voice to add depth to their songs. One of their best-known songs is “Can’t You See,” an emotional classic that showcases Gray’s powerful vocals.
Today, you can hear echoes of the band’s influence on modern artists like Chris Stapleton and Blackberry Smoke.
Another comer from the Jacksonville, Florida circuit is Blackfoot. The band was formed in 1970 and was heavily influenced by Lynyrd Skynyrd’s musical style.
Thus, it’s no surprise that Blackfoot shares many similarities with Lynyrd Skynyrd. For one, both bands embraced their Southern roots in their songs. In addition, they feature guitar-driven rock, having skilled guitarists in their lineup.
One of the most notable members of Blackfoot is Rickey Medlocke, who played in both bands. He is considered one of Southern rock’s brightest stars and has contributed significantly to shaping the genre.
Blackfoot remains an iconic band today and one of the most outstanding examples of classic Southern rock.
7. Charlie Daniels Band
The American singer-songwriter Charlie Daniels formed his eponymous band in 1972. The Charlie Daniels Band quickly gained fans thanks to its unique blend of country rock music with elements of southern rock.
Like Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band occasionally touched on the fringes of country music. Moreover, both bands have a strong connection that dates back nearly four decades.
The Charlie Daniels Band became known for hits like “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and “In America.” The former was a huge success, spending one week at #1 position on Billboard‘s Hot Country Singles. RIAA certified it platinum for sales of more than two million copies in the US.
Though Daniels passed away in 2020, the music of his band lives on. The world of Southern rock music will not forget his contributions, particularly how his music helped develop the genre.
8. The Outlaws
If you like Lynyrd Skynyrd, you’ll also love The Outlaws. They have a similar sound that’s sure to please. The Outlaws were formed in 1967 and are known for their blend of Southern rock and country rock.
Both bands share a similar sound featuring guitar solos, powerful vocals, and catchy songs. All these made them famous during their respective eras. However, The Outlaws also incorporated pop-rock elements into their music, setting them apart from other Southern rock bands.
Influential musicians like Billy Joel have praised this band for their contributions to the music industry. At the same time, younger acts such as Blackberry Smoke cite them as influences on their musical style.
9. Blackberry Smoke
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, the rock band Blackberry Smoke made a name for itself in the Southern rock tradition. With soulful vocals and a crunchy sound, we can see why they are compared to Lynyrd Skynyrd.
One of the unique things about Blackberry Smoke’s sound is its fuzzed-out electric guitar tones. They blend this with traditional Southern rock sounds to create something wholly their own.
If you’re looking for new music to add to your playlist, be sure not to overlook Blackberry Smoke. Their songs are characterized by honest storytelling and catchy hooks that will leave you humming long after listening.
10. The Kentucky Headhunters
Representing the state of Kentucky is The Kentucky Headhunters. This Southern rock and country music band was formed in 1968. The lineup includes two brothers, each with their unique musical style.
The band is known for blending honky-tonk, blues, and Southern rock which appealed to diverse audiences. Their sound is steeped in traditional American music styles that reflect their roots in Kentucky and the deep south.
Unfortunately, The Kentucky Headhunters did not achieve as much commercial success as other groups on this list. Nevertheless, they have amassed a loyal following over the years who appreciate their unique blend of styles.
11. The Georgia Satellites
The Southern rock band The Georgia Satellites came together in Atlanta, Georgia. They burst onto the scene with their eponymous debut album in 1986. It achieved commercial success and garnered critical acclaim.
The Georgia Satellites have often been compared to fellow Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Both of them are notable for their bluesy sound and gritty lyrics.
Both bands also enjoyed commercial success with some of their songs. Lynyrd Skynyrd had its breakthrough success with “Sweet Home Alabama.”
Meanwhile, The Georgia Satellites found success with “Keep Your Hands to Yourself.” While they enjoyed commercial success with the song, some consider them a one-hit-wonder—nevertheless, The Georgia Satellites’ legacy lives on through bands that they influenced.
12. Rossington-Collins Band
One of the most notable bands similar to Lynyrd Skynyrd, is the Rossington Collins Band. The similarities between the bands were due to the fact that it was formed by surviving members of Lynyrd Skynyrd after their tragic plane crash in 1977.
The Rossington Collins Band drew upon many similar elements as Lynyrd Skynyrd. These include guitar-heavy music with twangy riffs that perfectly capture the essence of Southern rock.
In addition to Gary Rossington’s leadership role, a female vocalist they provided some variation within the band’s sound.
Unfortunately, the band only lasted between 1979 to 1982. However, they left their fans two albums and their most successful song, “Don’t Misunderstand Me.”
13. The Black Crowes
Last but not least is The Black Crowes, a rock band that emerged in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1984. Though The Black Crowes and Lynyrd Skynyrd emerged in different eras, they both contributed to the Southern rock genre and created impactful music.
Out of all their albums, the most successful were The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. It was released in 1992 and topped the Billboard 200.
The band sold more than 30 million albums and was included in VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. In 1990, Rolling Stone readers voted them the Best New American Band.
Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Lynyrd Skynyrd
If you’re a fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Southern rock sound, plenty of other great bands are out there to check out. They’re a great addition to your favorites.
Whether you love the blues-influenced guitar work or the celebration of American culture in their lyrics, these bands will satisfy your musical cravings.
Have we missed a band you want to see on the list? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know and we will add them.