BLACKBERRY SMOKE – You Hear Georgia (2021)
Hailed as “the reigning heavyweight champions of Southern rock, Atlanta-based quintet BLACKBERRY SMOKE celebrates their 20th anniversary with a magnificent tribute to their home: ”You Hear Georgia”. The upcoming album is inspired by and a celebration of the South and all it has to offer.
In true Blackberry Smoke fashion, the band masterfully weaves through genre, with everything from Southern Rock anthems about overcoming preconceived notions to life lessons wrapped in heartfelt Americana. And they bring a few friends along for the ride, with guest features from Jamey Johnson and Warren Hayes (The Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule).
It’s not easy to find an album like “You Hear Georgia” in 2021. This is a terrific bluesy, classic rock record with an incredibly pristine sound to enjoy over and over again.
Producer Dave Cobb and the band tracked ”You Hear Georgia” in Nashville’s famous RCA Studio. A live off the floor and down-and-dirty energy is evident from the first cut “Live It Down.” The guitars sound incredible, Charlie Starr’s vocals are stronger than ever, and the rhythm section is absolutely cracking.
The entire crew goes hard out of the gate and you just know the rest of this set is going to burn the barn down.
The title song, “You Hear Georgia,” is a tight bit of classic Southern Rock that addresses the misguided stereotypes often inflicted upon people with roots in the American South. “Hey Delilah” is a funky mid-tempo dance floor filler in the New Orleans upbeat style. It’s a sweet and smooth good-time jam that shows the groove-a-licious side of this potent outfit.
Jamey Johnson takes a star turn on the honky-tonk anthem “Lonesome For A Living” and his fully-legit country vocals add grit and grace to an already-powerful song. The band even ices the cake for you with some heart-rending pedal steel licks that will put the tears in your beer. This is strong stuff.
Warren Haynes is his usual hot-handed self on the optimistic “All Rise Again,” which he co-wrote with Charlie Starr. The track surges and grinds under Haynes’ authority and is one of the coolest guitar moments captured during these sessions. “Morningside” and “Old Scarecrow” are also must-hear cuts.
Blackberry Smoke casts a long shadow with You Hear Georgia. It’s a wonderful album that fans of 100% proof American music / Classic Rock will be spinning all Summer.
01 – Live It Down
02 – You Hear Georgia
03 – Hey Delilah
04 – Ain’t the Same
05 – Lonesome for a Livin’ (feat. Jamey Johnson)
06 – All Rise Again (feat. Warren Haynes)
07 – Old Enough to Know
08 – Morningside
09 – All over the Road
10 – Old Scarecrow
Charlie Starr – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Paul Jackson – Guitar, Vocals
Richard Turner – Bass, Vocals
Brandon Still – Keyboards
Brit Turner – Drums, Percussion