Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Black Oak Arkansas adds grit to my polenta

I spent much of yesterday perfecting a vegetable-heavy Italian sauce to accompany POLENTA, the corn-grit comfort food that is a Hogstrom family specialty.
A dose of SOUTHERN ROCK helped fuel my kitchen endeavors.
I kicked off a Southern Rock playlist with CHARLIE DANIELS singing "The South's Gonna Do it Again," then followed with alternating tracks by THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND, MOLLY HATCHET, .38 SPECIAL, LYNYRD SKYNYRD and BLACK OAK ARKANSAS.
Led by gruff-voiced Jim "Dandy" Mangrum and named for their hometown, Black Oak Arkansas blazed a trail for Southern rockers.
"Their monetary success compelled the record industry to notice other Southern rock bands in the 1970s," writes Cecil Kirk Hutson in "The Guide to United States Popular Culture."
Hutson notes that Black Oak Arkansas:
"Helped open the way for hard Southern rock when the band appeared on Wolfman Jack's 'Midnight Special' four times, performed on 'Don Kirshner's Rock Concert,' and played at the California Jam. Other rock musicians such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker, .38 Special, and Molly Hatchet followed in Black Oak's footsteps."
Black Oak Arkansas certainly added grit to my playlist.
Ironic, then, that I listened to them while making what amounts to the Italian version of corn grits.


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