Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Southern rockers 38 Special to take Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort stage

Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush are joined by 38 Special’s Donnie Van Zant in the singing of “Georgia on my Mind” during the 34th Annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards Concert and Show at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in 2012 in Atlanta. 38 Special will play the Coeur d’Alene Casino on Thursday.  (Getty Images)
From staff reports

It’s been a few years since renowned Southern rock band 38 Special joined fellow beloved rockers Rush at the historic Spokane Coliseum, but they’ll make another venture to the Inland Northwest when they take the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort stage on Thursday, April 18.

The band has had a few lineup changes and an array of instant classics since 1980 when they first found themselves playing shows outside of their southern and midwestern roots (for $9 day-of tickets at the since demolished Coliseum, no less).

In 1974, .38 Special was founded in Jacksonville, Florida, when Don Barnes, Ken Lyons, and original frontman Donnie Van Zant (who is also younger brother of original Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant) joined forces.

The band’s albums of the late 1970s were in-line with the brand of southern rock popular at the time, perhaps no surprise considering who Van Zant’s late older brother was. Come the ’80s, arena rock (with remaining southern influences) was where .38 Special found the limelight with classic hits such as “Hold on Loosely,” “Caught Up in You,” “Second Chance,” and “If I’d Been the One.”

Over the course of the band’s now 50-year history the lineup has seen many shifts. After Van Zant retired due to health complications in 2013, multi-instrumentalist Barnes became the only remaining original member and took over as lead singer.

“Experienced” may be an understatement for the band with five decades of history and numerous timeless tunes, and that experience is sure to show when .38 Special adds the Coeur d’Alene Casino as another stage to their countless concert résumé.