What can I say about Blackberry Smoke? They are probably one of the greatest rock ‘n roll bands in the history of music. I know that’s a really big statement to make, so here are the facts. They continue to tour, they continue to create new music and their incredible at what they do. Please, do yourself a favor give them a listen before you tell me I’m wrong. I dare you to do that after you’ve heard them. Their songs are all unique yet have a familiarity to them. They always contain a wonderful message and an incredible hook.
I wasn’t sure how the crowd was going to react to them considering that they were a little bit different than most of the other bands that were on the bill. You’ve got Tom Kiefer from Cinderella who is amazing in his own right, Buckcherry and Godsmack just to name a few. These bands are relatively heavy and I would never look at Blackberry Smoke that way. But much to my surprise, they had quite a legion of fans there that day at the Kansas City Speedway for the 25th annual Rockfest.
I was turned on to this band about three years ago by a friend and it was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. They are one of the few bands like Cheap Trick that has an amazing ability to write songs that are catchy with that hook that draws you right in.
In their limited set of about an hour they bang through one great song after another with effortless skill of mixing slow and up tempo songs. Some of the highlights for me are the songs off of the latest record “Like An Arrow”. They didn’t disappoint and played songs going all the way back to their first record. That’s another point that makes them unique, not the same tired set list year after year. They always mix it up. They added“Paybacks A Bitch” which I had not seen them play in a few years.
For those of you that have never heard Blackberry Smoke I highly encourage you to give them a listen. The two records that I would suggest you start with are “Holding All The Roses” and their latest release “Like An Arrow”. They have a pop sensibility with a southern flavor that is truly unique. I don’t want to compare them to any other rock band because I don’t believe it does them justice.
If you like straight ahead rock ‘n roll music, they could quite possibly be one of the greatest bands that have ever been formed. They are from Atlanta, Georgia and worth your time. I will always see them and support them whenever they are within driving distance. Have you ever been to a concert where you’re completely taken away by the music? Well for me, that’s blackberry smoke. And I would bet it will be for you too.
Review and Photos by Tommy Sommers