Performing at George Jones’ 80th birthday was a thrill but also just another day’s work for Blackberry Smoke, the quintet of “rock outlaws” (Creative Loafing) known for raucous country riffs and sprawling shows. In addition to their passionate fan base, the band has garnered praise, supporting tour slots and guest appearances from the likes of Jones, ZZ Top, The Marshall Tucker Band and Zac Brown Band, among many others. Their new album ‘The Whippoorwill,’ out August 14, marks the band’s first release on Zac Brown’s label Southern Ground Artists, and includes 13 new songs that reflect these diverse collaborations and years of honing their craft on the road.
From the defiant, funky “Everybody Knows She’s Mine,” to the sweaty rocker “Shakin’ Hands with the Holy Ghost,” and the riff-driven “Crimson Moon,” the whole album is stamped with rich Southern imagery; frontman Charlie Starr’s instantly recognizable grit; dense arrangements of organ, pedal steel, and guitar; and tightly-stacked vocal harmonies. ‘The Whippoorwill’ was recorded across sessions from Asheville to Atlanta to Fayetteville and produced by the band, along with Clay Cook, Matt Mangano, and Zac Brown.
Says Starr of the band’s country/rock/bluegrass blend, “We all love the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Stones and the Faces and Hank Williams and Bill Monroe. It’s not about what kind of music it is, as long as it’s good and it’s honest.”
The Atlanta-based outfit, which also includes Richard Turner (bass/vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar/vocals), and Brandon Still (keyboards), hits more than 50 cities on this year’s run.
Full 2012 tour schedule: http://blackberrysmoke.com/tour.html
The band’s DVD “Live at the Georgia Theatre” was released in early 2012 and aired on Palladia in April.
‘The Whippoorwill’ Track Listing:
1. Six Ways to Sunday
2. Pretty Little Lie
3. Everybody Knows She’s Mine
4. One Horse Town
5. Ain’t Much Left of Me
6. The Whippoorwill
7. Lucky Seven
8. Leave A Scar
9. Crimson Moon
10. Ain’t Got the Blues
11. Sleeping Dogs
12. Shakin’ Hands with the Holy Ghost
13. Up the Road