Last summer I had the chance to see Blackberry Smoke live in concert. It was a stormy Saturday afternoon in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. We were at the fair grounds earlier in the day until storms hit. We left and had planned on coming back for the late show where Zac Brown and the band were headlining.
Once we got back at about 7 PM we realized the show was already starting. Up on stage with ZBB was Blackberry Smoke. The guys were playing a few of their songs and people were really liking it. The guys have this cool sound that isn’t like anything in country music right now.
Along with Sonia Leigh, Blackberry Smoke is on Southern Ground Records, which was started by Zac Brown. I’m not sure how many records these guys are going to sell, but they have made a really great record with The Whippoorwill. There are some really cool songs on here and I’ve found myself listening to some over and over.
Here are my thoughts.
The Whippoorwill by Blackberry Smoke
Overall the album has this feel of the 1970s era. You feel like you’re transported back in time to a feeling of coolness and just hanging out in the summertime. It’s great music for kicking back with a few drinks on a hot day. It’s a great album and one I would recommend if you’re in the mood for just chilling this weekend.
1. Six Ways To Sunday
Right away things get started with the Southern Rock influence. Doesn’t it feel like you’re thrown back into the past? It’s crazy and I love it. There is nothing like these guys out there right now and the best part is the music is good. This is a fun song with fast music and interesting lyrics.
2. Pretty Little Lie
Here’s a cool song too. It’s a little slower than the opener, but it’s friendly. It’s a story song. It’s about the issues of love and all the lies that sometimes get in the way.
3. Everybody Knows She’s Mine
There is a running theme on the album that you should pick up on. It’s about simple good times and fun that happen in life. It’s about love and sometimes love isn’t all that fun, but if you put on a smile you can get right back in a good mood. That’s how this song makes me feel.
4. One Horse Town
I guess we could call this the first slow song on the set. It gets off to a slow start anyway. It’s a little more somber in tone, but it fits on the album. It can’t all be fun and games. It’s about the small town life with big town dreams.
5. Ain’t Much Left of Me
The pace doesn’t pick up for this track. Things keep on trucking along now through the middle of the set. I do love when it kicks in with the electric guitars, though. That’s where the Southern comes back in strong.
6. The Whippoorwill
This is a pretty cool track. I like this one a lot. It’s laid back and cool. I’m not sure it’s really influenced from Southern Rock, but I can hear some of the blues in there.
7. Lucky Seven
Of course this had to be number seven on the record. It’s a great song with the beat picking back up. Remember, this record is about life and enjoying all the things that come along with living.
8. Leave a Scar
Now we have some rock and roll. This track is up tempo and moving fast. It’s a great track with plenty to say about the way those Southern folks love to live life. It’s about going fast, living hard, and enjoying everything along the way.
9. Crimson Moon
Crazy song. It has this crazy cool musical treatment. It’s pretty awesome actually. It starts out all nuts and then slows back down once you get going. These guys are making the music they want and they don’t care what anybody says. I like it.
10. Ain’t Got The Blues
As we get closer to the end of the album you knew things had to slow down in pace at least one more time. It’s a good song here. In fact, it’s something that’s stripped down and different from every one of the others. It’s interesting. Toward the end it gets kind of cool with a porch pickin’ kind of feel.
11. Sleeping Dogs
Just a cool Southern jamming song here. It’s a story about a guy just getting into fights and living life. Leave these guys alone.
12. Shakin’ Hands With The Holy Ghost
We’re back to rocking with this track. It’s upbeat and ready to roll. I’m fine with partying during the week of the Fourth of July. That’s kind of how I feel about this song.
13. Up The Road
The album ends with a piano-heavy track. It’s a little different than everything else you get on the album, but it’s good. Maybe this is following the old formula of having at least one power ballad on the album in order to find success. It’s a pretty good song.