Question: Is "Southern Rock" more closely defined by the sound or the bands original location? I have a few more classics... but the bands began in Non southern areas of the country...
Musically, it is defined by (Adam! Help me!) an emphasis on the lead guitar. Southern rock is all about the guitar man. But additionally, it is about the lyrics. Southern rock sings about a sense of place -- about home, working class values and struggles.
The genre isn't about the origin of the band, IMHO, but of the elements of the song.