Blackberry Smoke: die Roots-Rock-Überflieger mit ihrem neuen Album, auf Tour
Werte Rock-Connaisseure, das legendäre Label Earache Records hat bereits seit einigen Jahren ein famoses Gespür für klassische Rock-Acts entwickelt. Der Höhepunkt dieser Entwicklung sind die supertollen BLACKBERRY SMOKE. Die Kerle aus Georgia vermischen mit einer schwindelerregenden Leichtfüßigkeit Classic Rock, Bluegrass, Gospel, Arena Rock, Soul und Outlaw Country. BLACKBERRY SMOKE gehören somit nicht zu den Heerscharen typischer Retro-Acts. "The Whippoorwill" heißt das neue Prachtwerk. Hört Euch diese Harmoniegesänge an, das Feeling in der Gitarrenarbeit, das famose Klavier, die Coolness dieser Kerle, die eine unbeschwerte Relaxtheit ausstrahlt, ohne auf Kosten der Energie zu gehen.
BLACKBERRY SMOKE interpretieren diesen klassischen Sound mit einer zeitgenössischen Frische. Sie sind definitiv the real thing!
Und sie sind auf Tour!
10.03.2014 (DE) Hamburg, Rock Cafe
11.03.2014 (DE) Berlin, White Trash
12.03.2014 (DE) Köln, Blue Shell
13.03.2014 (DE) München, Strom
Mixing elements of gospel, bluegrass, arena rock, soul and more than a touch of outlaw country, Blackberry Smoke has earned a passionate fan-base that continues to grow as the band itself evolves. The band is as blue collar as the bandanas its members wear.
“Our fanbase is as organic as you can get,” says drummer Brit Turner. “Each fan has been won by live performance or good old word of mouth.”
In a little more than a decade together, Blackberry Smoke has released three full-length albums—including 2012’s The Whippoorwill, the band’s first for country megastar Zac Brown’s Southern Ground label—two EPs and a live DVD, Live at the Georgia Theatre, which serves as the perfect showcase for the band’s raucous, rockin’ good-times-for-all take on rock ’n’ roll. A chunk of the DVD’s concert footage has aired numerous times on Palladia, and the band also shot a DirecTV concert that has aired countless times.
Brit, along with singer and guitarist Charlie Starr, bassist and vocalist Richard Turner, guitarist and vocalist Paul Jackson and keyboardist Brandon Still, have slugged it out on the road for more than a decade, but now regularly sell out headline appearances across the country and overseas. The band’s audience, Brit says, feels like more than fans, which is appropriate given that their families are their biggest supporters. (A word to the wise: hitting on the pretty ladies in the front row might get you decked.)
Though these road dogs rarely have downtime, they recently managed to carve out enough time to record their newest batch of songs for The Whippoorwill, an album that serves as a platform for smart, battle-tested songwriting and for the band’s ability to leave audiences breathless.
Despite the additional resources at its fingertips, the band decided that The Whippoorwill would be largely an in-house affair—its own songs, done its own way. Consequently, the band is more excited for this album’s release than any effort thus far.
“I remember not being able to sleep well at night when we were making this new album,” Charlie recalls. “I was so excited about which songs we were going to cut the next day. After it’s done and we can hold it in our hands and be proud of it we know that there’s another one that will have to be made in the not too distant future, but it feels really good to have this one finished; we’re all really proud of it.”
With Zac Brown and the entire Southern Ground team behind them, Charlie and the boys are experiencing all the benefits of life on a larger label. For an already busy band, business is booming.
“The only time we stop or take any time off is when someone’s wife has a baby,” Charlie adds, chuckling. “So, we’ve had to come up with a fictitious band member whose fictitious wife is having a fictitious baby.”
Yet even though they have a wealth of experience under their belts, with the release of The Whippoorwill, the guys find themselves in uncharted territory.
“We’ve never done an album and actually planned a tour around it,” Charlie confesses. “It’s always been ‘tour constantly and whenever the album is done, it comes out.’ It’s a new thing for us to actually plan this far ahead.”
And while the recording process for The Whippoorwill might have afforded the band a few additional luxuries—“It was strange being able to go into a nice recording studio without having to not pay ourselves for awhile to get the money to do it,” Brit says—the band still found itself backs against the wall. Fortunately, that’s exactly where Blackberry Smoke seems to thrive.
“For all the planning ahead, we still had to get it done in four-and-a-half days, so it’s not like we had time to stretch out and find the most comfortable chair in the studio,” Charlie says. “In a perfect world, I’d like to take a little bit more time to record, but it’s not possible until they add more hours in the day and more days in the week. We’re used to doing it that way anyway.”
Regardless of whatever pressures the band might have been under while the red light was on in the studio, that stress isn’t evident on any of The Whippoorwill’s 13 tracks. For example, album opener, “Six Ways to Sunday,” is a foot stomping tune that mirrors the song’s carefree attitude, and could be mistaken for an old Motown track at times. At the same time, the title track has the effortless blues approach of ’70s-era Pink Floyd, but with more grease. Nothing feels forced.
Indeed, the band’s history together gives them a natural chemistry when writing the songs that could easily find a home with a diverse set of audiences.
Straddling the line between paying homage to one’s heroes and blatant theft is a tricky business, but it’s a divide that the members of Blackberry Smoke traverse with ease.
The band invites a few comparisons to the hallowed forefathers of Skynyrd, but don’t expect to hear the same worn out clichés in their songs that every other band with country, pop or rock leanings have already espoused.
“We’re not in the business of writing the same song over and over and over,” Charlie says bluntly.
Speaking of “over and over,” at many points it would have been easy for these blue-collar musicians to get tired of bashing out song after song in distant dives and hang it up, get straight jobs and rock out as weekend warriors—if at all. But despite some lean years, they kept building an audience and keeping up with wives, children and girlfriends from long distances. So what’s kept them so passionate?
As Brit Turner emphasizes, it’s not necessarily dreams of stardom. It’s simply the love of the game. “We love it or we wouldn’t do it.”
The official European release date for “The Whippoorwill” is February 14th with a tour to promote the album following the release.
Blackberry Smoke will play to a colossal crowd of 60,000 on New Year’s Eve in Nashville alongside country legend Hank Williams JR.
Blackberry Smoke made their live UK debut this month at Camden’s Barfly in front of a sold out crowd and will be back to headline the UK and Europe next spring.The Glasgow and Manchester shows of the tour sold out days after going on sale with many of the venues looking to be upsized to fulfil demand.
Blackberry Smoke were personally invited to play alongside Guns N Roses star Slash as his backing band at an event in Austin to launch the Guitar Hero 2 game.
The name Blackberry Smoke is credited to Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes after guitarist and lead vocalist Charlie Starr asked him for help in naming the band.
Quelle: Gordeon Music