A 10-Song Introduction To The Southern Rock Sounds Of Blackberry Smoke

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Blackberry Smoke has been around for a while now.

The band first formed in 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia, and they’ve released six studio albums and two live albums, along with several other EPs and singles throughout the years. They recently announced their forthcoming album, You Hear Georgia, which is set to be released on May 28th and was produced by Dave Cobb.

They’ve had some chart success with their 2015 album Holding All the Roses and their 2016 album Like An Arrow, both reaching No. 1 on the Billboard country chart.

Though they have had a little bit of mainstream recognition, they hardly get the real credit they deserve. Their sound is distinctively southern rock, lead by lead vocalist/guitar player Charlie Starr, with lyrics that are every bit country. They sing about love, life and everything that can go wrong in between.

They have a vast catalog with so much great stuff, but if you’ve never listened to them or don’t know much about their music, here’s 10 of their best just to get you started:

One Horse Town- The Whippoorwill

This one is my absolute favorite and one of their most popular, too. It comes from their 2012 album The Whippoorwill, and it’s about getting stuck in a small town with little opportunity because of family pride and probably a host of other things. The chorus is my favorite part because I think so many people understand this situation all too well:

“This little bitty town it ain’t nothing new,
We all stick around ’cause they all tell us too,
Swallow your pride just to make your family proud,
If I didn’t think that it would shut the whole place down,
I’d ride my pony right out of this one horse town”

The Whippoorwill- The Whippoorwill

This track is full of soul. It has so many different elements, like heartbreak, loss and sadness, and it will grip you the first time you hear it. Again on this song, the lyrics here are more like poetry and you’ll probably have it on repeat.

Best Seat in the House- Find a Light

Though it’s easy to think about everything we want in life and what we’re missing, most of us have it pretty good. That’s not to say there aren’t hard times and bad things don’t happen, but there’s a whole to be thankful for and this song sums it up beautifully. Sometimes you have to stop and remind yourself of the bigger picture.

Angeline- Bad Luck Ain’t No Crime

Long story short: Angeline wanted more than what her man could offer. He had nickels, and “that girl wanted dimes.” So, she left where she was from to find more. And according to lead singer Charlie Starr, it’s based on a true story as a similar situation happened to one of his friends.

Sunrise in Texas- Like An Arrow

This song is rather introspective, focusing on the fact that there’s a lot going on in the world if you stop long enough to find it. It’s easy to get caught up in the routine of everyday life, but if you pay attention long enough, you’ll see all the heartache and pain that exists everywhere.

Sanctified Woman- Bad Luck Ain’t No Crime

They say be careful what you wish for, and here our lead singer is searching for a “sanctified woman,” as the title suggests. He’s under the impression that she can redeem him, but he also says “I got to keep on running before I run out of time,” so it’s up for debate how that will ultimately play out.

Too High- Holding All the Roses

By his own account, lead singer Charlie Starr says this song is about the very real drug problems that plague so many towns and communities all over the country. Some people make it through and some don’t, but for so many it often seems like an impossible task when you start to climb that mountain.

I’d Be Lyin’- Little Piece of Dixie

This track is all about broken promises. In the beginning of a relationship, it’s easy to think you’re going to go above and beyond, but life has a way of getting in the way and it doesn’t always work out. This song details all of that with searing, unapologetic honesty.

Flesh and Bone- Like An Arrow

Temptation is a real thing, and sometimes it can be downright overwhelming. This track is an acknowledgement that we’re all just human and it can be a hard thing to combat for anyone. No one is exempt from those feelings in life which, oddly enough, is something we can all relate to even when we don’t want to admit it.

Lucky Seven- The Whippoorwill

I love the play on words on this track. A lot of us may have gotten away with things we shouldn’t have, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re lucky, either. We all pay for the things we’ve done eventually, one way or another.

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