I have been a big fan of Blackberry Smoke for the last 5 years, since I first heard their early recordings.
They fit into that category of riff based rock and American southern country rock. Some might say with a touch of stoner and other styles, but that just gets too complicated for me as I see my music as fairly black and white. It’s more about the music than the lyrics.
I had the pleasure of touring with the band several years when a band I managed toured Europe with them. For me they are an updated “Black Oak Arkansas", a southern country rock band out of the southern states of America back in the seventies. But Blackberry Smoke bring us right into the new century.
The band have very clearly progressed from those early days of being a straight country rock band to the slick product I am reviewing here. The stand out track is “Let Me Help You” but we get a sprinkling of hard country rock to great country ballads - all with that unmistakable Southern American vocal. We even get a straight 12 Bar country rock track “Rock and Roll Again”.
What is very evident is the slick production, and clearly a lot of time has gone into the song structures. You may notice I still refer to new albums as records, I can’t refer to it as just new material because it is simply digital. It still represents a traditional body of work as we are all used to in the past. The album is not dead.
I would compare Blackberry Smoke to another seventies band called “Hackensak” who produced a very similar sound back in the day. It’s not available digitally but here’s hoping!
I have not stopped playing this record since it was released, and I can only hope that a local promoter will bring them out to tour locally in the not too distant future.