Lynyrd Skynyrd on MV YouTube Channel
Prior to the release of their third studio album, Nuthin’ Fancy, on March 24, 1975, Lynyrd Skynyrd embarked on a massive tour to promote their new music. The tour marked the first time the group ever played outside of North America, and continued going strong even after the album’s release.
Appropriately called the Nuthin’ Fancy Tour, the tour ended up bringing Skynyrd to San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom on April 27, 1975. The sold-out Winterland concert was recorded live, and shows Skynyrd singing many of their classic hits and Nuthin’ Fancy’s most recognizable tunes, including “Saturday Night Special” and “Whiskey Rock-a-Roller.”
Skynyrd also performed some of the lesser-known tracks from Nuthin’ Fancy, including the hidden gem and fourth track on the album, called “I’m A Country Boy.” Written by guitarist Ed King, keyboard player Billy Powell, and lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, the song compares country and city life. The narrator says he will take the country over the city any day, as he sings, “Big city, hard times don’t bother me/I’m a country boy, I’m as happy as I can be.“
During Skynyrd’s performance at Winterland, Ronnie appeared under a single spotlight as he sang, which really made the audience zero in on him and his showcase of vocal talent. The amount of passion he put into the song is undeniable, and he continuously pulled off different vocal techniques that take others decades to master, like growling through the notes.
The instrumentals in the Winterland performance were equally impressive, as to be expected from the world’s leading band in Southern rock. This particular performance was one of the last to feature Skynyrd’s original three-guitar lineup of Ed King, Allen Collins, and Gary Rossington, and each of them had a chance to shine as they rocked out together.
“I’m a Country Boy” may be one of Skynyrd’s lesser-known tracks, but you won’t believe that is true when you watch their performance below!