Georgia-grown southern rock band Blackberry Smoke released their 7th studio album today.
And, they brought out the big guns in Alabama native Jamey Johnson to join them on the track “Lonesome for a Livin’.” They had previously put out a few songs in the lead up to the full release, like the title-track “You Hear Georgia” and “Hey Delilah.”
The idea of this album was to shed light on some of the misconceptions about the South and some of the stereotypes and assumptions people may have about what it’s really like there.
“Lyrically, the song is about the South being misunderstood. It’s obviously a rough and tumble world, and there’s a lot of bad people. But there’s a lot of good people too.
It started with the idea of how people might have a preconceived opinion of you because of a thick Southern accent, then expanded into the reality of how some people just seem to have such a hard time getting along, thanks to political or religious views, or simply what part of the country you come from.”
Teaming Up With Jamey Johnson
This song in particular is a soulful, rocking confession of how hard life has really been on them out on the road, and there’s a beautiful little line about how much of life as a musician has been far from glamorous and much more full of heartache:
“I put quite a few tears into quite a few beers”
They paint such a detailed, honest picture of reality, owning up to how much they really drank, lied and cheated, knowing it was wrong, but still not being able to stop themselves:
“I lived all the lyrics
For better or for worse
The drinkin’, the cheatin’, and the lyin’
Well I guess I walked it
Just how I talked it
Both eyes wide open but stone blind
I wonder how many angels
Are waitin’ for me?
To finally fall down on my knees
And then put me back up on my feet”
The track was written by frontman Charlie Starr. Of course, the lyrics in and of themselves would make the song great, but throw Jamey on the track, and you’ve got a bona fide hit. I don’t think you can get much better than this pair.
They previously worked together on Blackberry Smoke’s 2009 album, Little Pieces of Dixie, where Jamey joined them to cover Willie Nelson’s 1971 song “Yesterday’s Wine,” which also features George Jones. Merle Haggard and George Jones also recorded a duet of “Yesterday’s Wine” in 1982 that eventually became a #1 single.
Blackberry Smoke is also gearing up to hit the road this summer for their “Spirit of the South” tour.