The first couple of Band albums.
It's amazing how a group of whitebread, frost-bitten Canadians could capture my people's culture so authentically. Perhaps having a genuine Arkie (Levon Helm) in their midst helps, as well as touring Mississippi/Lousiana/Arkansas for 10 years with Fayetteville, AR's answer to Elvis, Ronnie Hawkins. I mean, hell, only someone who was seriously steeped in the South could write "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" or someone seriously steeped in the Ozarks could write "Up On Cripple Creek". I don't know if any of these guys had a PhD. in anthropology, but they nailed the sound of the hillbilly American South pretty good for a bunch of foreigners. Of course, they cut their teeth as a working band spending 10 years in the hardest redneck bars in north Arkansas, so I guess they earned their authenticity.
Not even native son Johnny Cash (born a county apart from my birthplace) could do a better version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down".