Symply Skynyrd Band coming to Black Wolf Smokehouse

September 24, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Great news for fans of Lynyrd Skynyrd, that Southern Rock band of the 1960s and 70s.

Symply Skynyrd, the only all Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band, is coming to Orangeville on Saturday, October 6, to play at the Black Wolf Smokehouse.

To appreciate fully this tribute band, a brief history of Lynyrd Skynyrd tells us, that some time after their formation in the late ’60s, they enjoyed ever growing success, and  they were credited with bringing Southern Rock into the wider world and popularity with such hits as Sweet Home Alabama and Call Me the Breeze.

Then, three of them, Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines, were killed in an airplane crash in 1977, along with the crew. The other members of the band survived but were badly injured.

Those remaining members invited Johnny Van Zant, the younger brother of the deceased lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, to join them as lead vocalist, 10 years later,  in 1987 for a reunion tour. They toured the States variously until January 2018, when they announced their farewell tour.

All this well-remembered, well-loved music is brought back to live audiences here in Ontario by the Symply Skynyrd Band, whose leader, Peter Freer, told us, “We only play Lynyrd Skynyrd music, whereas other bands play everything under the Southern Rock genre. For us, it’s just the  Skynyrd experience.”

Based in the GTA, the band launched themselves as the Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band in January, 2017.

“It  was the time when the new documentary movie had come out and the Street Survivor’s tour, there was a renewed interest. Our band is a tribute to the original  ’70s and we take on a little of that look.

“We’re all veteran musicians who really loved the Skynyrd’s music and, so, the band is committed to playing the best Skynyrd’s songs for the fans and – for music lovers everywhere. We’re a tribute band to the ’70s legacy – about the time of the plane crash.”

He said, “I began in January this year to book engagements and I booked 30 shows. I was a bit surprised but then we realized there is a demand for this music. We have done our homework about the Lynyrd, Mat [Bunt] really does a great job – he wears those t-shirts and performs in his bare feet – it’s those details that people really appreciate.”

Mr. Freer told the Citizen, “We’ve been from Kingston to London and all the towns in between. We were in Port Dover for Friday the 13th, on the Molson Stage for the Kinsmen. We played the Rib Fest in Guelph. People get right into the music. They notice what guitars are used and we have the same guitars as the Lynyrd used. People are into all those details.

“We are finding that more people come to these because they love the music.”

What brings them to Orangeville?

“Our show in Orangeville came because one of our band, Russ Morrow, (keyboard) is from Orangeville and has his musical background here.”

In addition, the band members are: Laurence Fontaine – guitar and vocal; Ernie Pegutter on bass; and Don Guillet – drums and “peanut butter sandwiches.”

About the upcoming show at the Black Wolf Smokehouse, Mr Freer was confident of its success: “We’ll give them two solid hours of great music. We give people an experience with Sweet Home Alabama, Gimme 3 Steps and Freebird and lots of their best plus some others…  Skynyrd fans, and not only them, but anyone who enjoys great rock music should come out and have good time.”

What makes the band so good and so true to Skynyrd is “honestly, it’s the music.”  Mr Freer was clear about that. “The music itself brought us together. We study the music, getting it right note by note. Sometimes, our attention to detail gives people a laugh but it brings the band and the music right back to them.”

For the younger fans, they can get a taste what real Southern Rock was really all about. So, they should come too.

The date is Saturday, October 6 at the Black Wolf Smokehouse. You can check out the Symply Skynyrd Band on Facebook: htttps://

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