In 2009, Blackberry Smoke released its second album, Little Piece of Dixie, and buzz for the band began to grow. While I am an all-genre kind of cat, from Reggae to Punk to Mongolian Tuvan Throat Singing, I have always had a penchant for Southern Rock, going back to the days of the Allman Brothers Band. So a couple of years ago, people began to hand me copies of Blackberry Smoke’s work.
The truth is, Cincinnati was always a stronghold for Southern Rock. Heck, the first-ever concert at U.S. Bank Arena (then Riverfront Coliseum) was headlined by the Allman Brothers Band in 1975 and the original lineup of Lynyrd Skynyrd filled the place up a couple of months before its fatal plane crash two years later.
The Queen City was also a popular destination for groups like the Marshall Tucker Band and the Charlie Daniels Band, as well as local acts like Wheels.
Blackberry Smoke, however, isn’t a
stereotypical Southern Rock band, in that they don’t tend to stretch out
solos for half an hour. But along with a fresh batch of good original
songs, they do bring that basic Southern Rock/Outlaw Country groove that
fills the need for down-to-earth, blue collar Rock & Roll.
Blackberry Smoke’s latest album, The Whippoorwill, was released in 2012 on Zac Brown’s Southern Ground label.
BLACKBERRY SMOKE performs at Bogart's on Thursday, Feb. 6. Details here.