12/19/08

Southern Creed Reunion Show Review (12/13/08, The New Daisy, Memphis)

Southern Creed (also called Creed, not to be confused with the popular 90s post-grunge band) held their fourth annual reunion show this past weekend at the New Daisy in downtown Memphis. Creed was a very popular classic/southern/hard rock band from Memphis during the late 70s and early 80s. The band comprised Hal Butler (keys, synth, vocals), Steve Ingle (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Rusidoff (guitar), James "The Reverend" Flynn (bass), Chip Thomas (drums), and Luther Maben (guitar, replaced by Rusidoff).


Until last December, I really didn't know much about Southern Creed. However, my dad, who saw the band a lot back in the 70s (and bought/traded some gear with Hal Butler), convinced me to go to last year's reunion show. Suffice to say, I was completely taken aback by the awesome performance these guys put on. The whole band played with incredible emotion and energy. The show this past weekend was no different. In fact, it might have even been a little better.

Last year's show ultimately sold out, so we made sure to get tickets in advance this time. This year, it didn't seem as crowded, but there were still many people present. After the opening act performed their set, Creed finally came on. I might be incorrect, but I think they opened up with "You Never See It That Way," a driving tune with a boogie feel from their self-titled 1978 album, Creed. From the start, the band sounded extremely tight and together. It's amazing that they only play once a year, yet still sound as if they are playing shows every night.

Obviously, since I'm a guitarist, my eyes were trained on Steve Ingle and Jimmy Rusidoff for much of the time. Both of their tones sounded incredible, and they played at a really nice, cranked volume. Ingle played his worn Strings-N-Things '59 Les Paul "Preissue" (and occasionally his Strat) for most of the night of the night through what looked to be some sort of Laney combo hooked up to a Randall 4x12 cabinet. Rusidoff played his Strat through what I'm pretty sure was a Super Reverb. Both of them thoroughly demonstrated their monster playing abilities, both technically and melodically.

But that's not to say the rest of the band are slouches. Hal Butler has a great voice and really knows how to play keyboards and his vintage ARP synth tastefully in a rock setting. On the bass and drums, respectively, James Flynn and Chip Thomas make up a rock-solid rhythm section. In my opinion, they're the ideal type of bassist and drummer to play with. They know when to lay back and when to add their own parts, all without without losing focus of the song.

The band played most of the material from both their first album and their 1984 EP, Believe It!, including their most popular hit, "Firecracker." However, they also threw in a few covers, such as Trapeze's "Coast to Coast" and Captain Beyond's "Raging River of Fear." It's really great to hear a band paying tribute to such relatively obscure, yet undeniably incredible music.

From start to finish, Creed played for almost three hours, which is more than anyone could ask for. This fact really proves just how much these guys enjoy playing. The only downside is that they only play once a year now! And there is also word that this show might have been their last. For now, let's hope that that's just a rumor and nothing too serious. If you ever have a chance to see these guys, by all means, please do so!


You can view more photos I took at this show here.

Visit Southern Creed's MySpace page here.

9 comments:

Carl said...

Nice Review. . .Thanks for posting it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review, I have lived in Cincinnati Ohio most of my life, but use to travel to Memphis to see my friend and go see Southern Creed. They still are one of my favorite bands. I was at the night club show when the record companies were in attendance, I think it was called "The Ritz". The show was incredible. I still hope someday to find a CD of the original Creed album, my 8 track tape wore out years ago!

Boomer Rice, Ohio

Wade Laycook said...

Thanks for reading! I hope to get posting soon (even though I've said that for quite some time). Here's a link to a place where you can download Creed's original album:

http://sharebee.com/cb5707c0

Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for these guys for years. I used to go watch them every weekend. Early 80's. I had both of the first two albums. Great music and Jimmy Russidoff was to die for. Where in Memphis do they play? And when next?

Anonymous said...

Frter seeing them play alot in the 70s i was looking foward to seeing them play New Years eve, I was misinformed and missed the show because i thought it was going to be NYs eve.......I do hope they get together again to play as its been years since i last saw them live........many a good times in the past

Wade Laycook said...

Hey guys, thanks for commenting. Unfortunately, Southern Creed doesn't play much anymore, save for their annual reunion show in December (even that's volatile, as it's unsure whether they will play another one next year). With that said, it's not difficult to find Steve Ingle and James Flynn when they're playing with RT Scott or any of their other bands here in Memphis.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
I missed your May 24 2010 posting of the original Southern Creed album. I tried sharebee.com/cb5707c0 but could not find it. Can you help me out?

Thanks

Boomer Rice, Cincinnati

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Creeds original album. Got it! Thanks! 33 years but worth the wait!

Boomer

Jerry Chase said...

IS THERE ANY WAY OF GETTING THE LYRICS TO FIRECRAKER