Blackberry Smoke’s New Album The Whippoorwill Is A Rocking Good Time.
If there is one thing you can expect from a Southern Ground Artist’s album, you can expect for it be good…real good. With The Whippoorwill (their first release on the label), Blackberry Smoke is definitely living up to that expectation. This quintet has an intoxicating southern rock/outlaw country vibe that reminds me of hot summers growing up in Memphis, TN, and there are two things that stand out on this particular album. First, they are fantastic writers and story tellers, and second, they are very talented musicians.
With lines like “I may not change the world, but I’m gonna leave a scar“, “So kiss me one more time and cross every T and dot every I of that pretty little lie“, and “He was named after the hurricane/Blew through in ‘79 and he did just about the same” pouring out of each track, it is impossible to deny that these guys have a way with words. More than that though, each track on this album tells its own story, and each is as engaging as the next. You’re listening not only to the music, but also to hear how the story turns out. From “One Horse Town” to “Sleeping Dogs“, Blackberry Smoke really does have their finger on the pulse of dixie living, and listening to their songs is almost like pulling back a curtain and watching the characters’ lives unfold in the lyrics.
I think what I appreciate most about these songs and the stories they tell, though, is that they are raw and realistic. There are no rose covered glasses here, just honesty. Yet, and maybe this is because I grew up in the South and this kind of music reaches right in and touches my soul, but even in the honesty and unwillingness to sugarcoat the details, there is still an edge of nostalgia, a warmth that only those with an affinity for southern culture with both its good and bad qualities, can appreciate.
In addition to the quality of the writing, these fellows also have some serious chops as far as their music is concerned. From the slower rhythm in the albums title track to the quick pace of the opening track “Six Ways to Sunday“, there is a subtlety and depth to the music on this record, and I have a feeling that the digital prints aren’t doing Blackberry Smoke the justice they deserve. I can hear the influences of the bands I grew up on, like Led Zeplin, as they are mixing bluesy riffs, country sounds, and rock into one original and foot stomping package. Based on what I’m hearing on Whippoorwill, I would really love the hear these guys live because I’m willing to wager they would put on one hell of a show!
The Whippoorwill is the first run-in that I’ve had with Blackberry Smoke, and I am very glad that these guys just smashed into my radar. I suggest you stop what you’re doing, and check them out right now! You could even win a copy from CMNB! Find complete details here.
The Whippoorwill, Complete 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. Aint Got The Blues
11. Sleeping Dogs
12. Shakin’ Hands With The Holy Ghost
13. Up The Road