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In 1994, Lynyrd Skynyrd released what is, without a doubt, one of their most unique albums ever. Called Endangered Species, the album features entirely acoustic versions of some of Skynyrd’s signature songs such as “Saturday Night Special” and “Poison Whiskey.”
Besides containing some of their classics, Endangered Species also featured some newer material from Skynyrd. One such track was “Devil in the Bottle,” which was written by Mike Estes, Dale Krantz-Rossington, Gary Rossington, and Johnny Van Zant.
The song conveys the narrator’s battle with his dependance on alcohol. Although he knows that he’s drinking his life away, the narrator just can’t seem to break free from his struggle. This causes him a great deal of distress, since he knows he’s letting down everyone he loves, as he sings “There’s a devil in a bottle that just won’t let me be/So many times I’ve been hurtin’ my soul and family.“
Because the song’s heavy message carries itself without the addition of intense instrumentals, the acoustic arrangement for “Devil in the Bottle” is a perfect fit.
Since Skynyrd is well-known for their powerful instrumentals, it’s a rare sight to see them perform an acoustic song. But during an appearance in Atlanta, Georgia, Skynyrd sat down to deliver a moving acoustic performance of “Devil in the Bottle.”
Johnny took a seat front and center, where he crooned out the mournful lyrics to the song. With the rest of the band seated around Johnny in a crescent shape, the performance took on an intimate feeling, which seems appropriate for a song with a personal message like “Devil in the Bottle.”
Since Skynyrd rarely performs an acoustic song live, this performance is one you simply can’t miss. Check it out in the video below, and let us know what you think!
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