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Guided by the still burning light of grassroots Southern Rock, the most successful keepers of the flame both musically and in units sold, Blackberry Smoke – Guitarist/Vocalist Charlie Starr, Guitarist Paul Jackson, Bassist Richard Turner, Drummer Britt Turner, and Keyboardist Brandon Still – are back with their sixth studio album, Find A Light.
Distilled and first bottled nearly eighteen years ago, Blackberry Smoke’s sound is pure, 160 proof american rock-n-roll, full of swampy, dusty dirt road life. The guitar driven swagger is evocative of fellow Georgia natives, The Black Crowes if you want to pigeonhole ( we don’t ) but other influences obviously abound. Add some additional southern musical seasonings with a dash of Skynyrd, a sprinkle of Marshall Tucker a pinch of Molly Hatchet with a fresh twist of modern day counterparts Drive-By Truckers plus a few shavings of Keith Richards inimitable lead / rhythm guitar stylings and a trail for success was forged with a string of hit records, including 2015’s Holding All The Roses and 2016’s Like an Arrow, both of which climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard U.S. Country chart.
Track 02 – Run Away From It All / 4:29
Track 04 – Medicare My Mind / 4:42
Track 12 – Nobody Gives A Damn / 3:22
Kick starting the proceedings “Flesh and Bone” finds the band adding a heftier guitar edge to their sound, with a steady nature, the song implores we are all only human. Possibly the most well-written number on Find A Light, “Run Away From It All” with it’s Black Crowes tinged melodics is about finding salvation and is the perfect juke box roadside bar dance floor number. A stone cold rocker, “The Crooked Kind” kick’s out the jams before the Blackberry’s take it down several notches and introduce the breezier side with an acoustic / electric track “Medicate My Mind” and, another mellow tune about the love of music, “I’ve Got This Song.”
Searching for salvation, “Lord Strike Me Dead” turns it up to 10 again leading into the guest appearance of award winning, Singer-Songwriter/violinist Amanda Shires and the super fine country ballad “Let Me Down Easy”. One of my personal faves, “Nobody Gives A Damn” is a straight ahead Drive-By Truckers type rocker while the cautionary, careful what you wish for lifestyle of being in a rock band is examined in “Til The Wheels Fall Off”. The final cut, “Mother Mountain,” delivers one last guest appearance as Folk trio, The Wood Brothers. This collaborate effort is a distinctively sounding 1960s folk rocker, closing out another sure fire hit recording to add to Blackberry Smoke’s growing catalogue and a modern Southern Rock rep that Ronnie Van Zant and boy’s from Hell House would be damn proud of. – Mez –