Blackberry Smoke, Allman Betts bring it back home to Jacksonville

When Charlie Starr started laying out the itinerary for the Spirit of the South Tour, he knew there was one city where the traveling celebration of Southern rock music would have to visit. 

“If you are a person who uses the term ‘Southern rock’ then Jacksonville, Florida, is hallowed ground,” Starr said last week as he was preparing for the tour.

Starr, singer and guitarist with Georgia rockers Blackberry Smoke, is not wrong, of course. Just a few miles from Daily’s Place, where the tour stops Tuesday night, is the Riverside house where the Allman Brothers Band first came together. Around the corner from that is Riverside High, which was still called Lee High School when a teacher named Leonard Skinner hassled some students about their long hair enough to make them name their band after him. Blackfoot, .38 Special and Molly Hatchet all got started in Jacksonville and sold a lot of records with their high-flying guitar lineups.