Not too long ago, one of my Twitter buddies tagged me in a post. He said, “I don’t know if you like Southern rock and roll, but the beginning of this one seems written for you. Hope you enjoy!” The post linked to Drivin’ N’ Cryin’s Honeysuckle Blue.
Though I’d never heard it before, the song sent me reeling back to warm mountain days and time with Daddy. He was always on the go, and so it feels like most of my memories of him were made in old pickup trucks.
I spent many lazy days riding around in the truck bed as Daddy and his friends burned up Haywood County roads. Laying on blankets, I built cloud castles while Southern rock blared from the speakers, echoing through the hollers and coves.
Daddy was little when “Southern rock” was coined to describe the rock-blues-country infused sound popularized by the Allman Brothers. The subgenre appealed to Southern Gen X kids because of its boogie-influenced guitar riffs and lyrics celebrating the Southern way of life.
Like most other teenagers, Daddy was passionate about the music he liked. Those passions ran so deep that an early inspiration for my nickname was Cassie Gaines of Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s like I was born to love Southern rock. And I do.
When I go home to the mountains, I roll down the windows and crank up the Molly Hatchet. In those moments, I feel like Daddy is riding with me.