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One Lynyrd Skynyrd song that never seems to get enough love is their 1974 tune “The Ballad of Curtis Loew.” Written by guitarist Allen Collins and lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, “Curtis Loew” tells perhaps the most complex story of any of Skynyrd’s songs.
With a tinge of blues to it, Ronnie sings throughout the song about an old black man named Curtis Loew who was shunned by society. But Ronnie’s narrator struck up a friendship with Curtis Loew, and always liked to listen to him play his dobro, singing “People said he was useless, them people are the fools/‘Cause Curtis Loew was the finest picker to ever play the blues.”
After Curtis died, no one seemed to care except for the narrator, because he was the only one who ever got to know Curtis for who he really was.
In the years since Skynyrd released their emotional ballad, many others have given the song their own take and shared their recordings with the world on the internet. One such person is singer-songwriter Liz Berube, who gathered up thousands of YouTube views when she posted her simple cover of “Curtis Loew” in 2008.
Sitting in her kitchen, Liz grabbed her acoustic guitar and sweetly sang the sorrowful story of Curtis’ life and death. Her version is much softer and a bit more bluesy in style than Skynyrd’s original, but it works.
Liz’s angelic voice will draw you in from the second she starts singing. Even if you’ve heard Curtis Loew’s story a hundred times before, she’ll make it seem brand new to you thanks to the amount of soul she puts into her performance.
It’s really no wonder why Liz’s video generated so many views, and is still watched by Skynyrd fans around the world. She’s continuing to pursue her dreams in music, and she routinely posts other cover videos and performance dates on her Facebook page. If you like what you hear in her version of “Curtis Loew,” you should definitely check out her other stuff!
It’s amazing to see how after all this time, Skynyrd’s songs such as “Curtis Loew” are still beloved by audiences all over.
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