A previously unreleased song featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd's original lineup may surface on the Southern rock band's next studio album, which is expected out in early 2009.

A previously unreleased song featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd's original lineup may surface on the Southern rock band's next studio album, which is expected out in early 2009.

Guitarist Gary Rossington tells Billboard.com that he recently unearthed the song, "Cottonmouth Country," from the archives. "It has Ronnie Van Zant singing and Leon (Wilkerson) on bass and Bob Burns is on drums," Rossington says. "It's a cool track, pretty cool lyrics -- it's about the swamps. And we never put it out with (producer) Al Kooper on the first or second album. We just kind of let it sit there and never finished it. It's pretty well done, but the recording isn't as good as it could be. So we might put that out as a bonus track -- a whole new Skynyrd song nobody's heard."

As for the rest of the album -- Skynyrd's first of new material since 2003's "Vicious Cycle" -- Rossington says that he, frontman Johnny Van Zant and guitarist Rickey Medlocke have been spending time in Nashville working with songwriters.

"We're not doing a country album," Rossington says, "but Skynyrd's always had a little bit of country blood in us. That's where we come from." He says the group has at least 20 songs ready for consideration and hopes to hit the studio in April or May. The group hasn't yet determined who will be producing, though Rossington says the band members will likely co-produce with whomever they choose.

Skynyrd has plenty else going on at the moment. It recently released a deluxe edition of "Street Survivors," the 1977 best-seller released shortly before the plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines.

Skynyrd is also gearing up for another leg of the Rowdy Frynds Tour with Hank Williams, Jr., and .38 Special, which begins April 4 in Hershey, Pa., and to be part of Kid Rock's Rock N Roll Revival show on May 15 at New York's Madison Square Garden and subsequent dates later this summer.

"He's a great guy, man. We love him, and he's done a lot for us," Rossington says of Rock. "We've calmed down now, so we listen to all the stories about the Kid Rock party bus."

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