THERE ARE HUNDREDS of rock bands that lay claim to being influenced by country music. Most of them, however, end up peddling landfill Americana to an audience whose understanding of US roots music extends no further than wearing a pair of cowboy boots and trogging through a supermarket car park on a soggy Saturday afternoon. It is refreshing, then, to hear Blackberry Smoke, a band whose genuine love of George Jones and Bill Monroe sits alongside their proud affection for the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers and the Marshall Tucker Band.
Formed in Atlanta, Georgia, the five-piece Charlie Starr (guitar, vocals), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals), Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Britt Turner (drums) and Brandon Still (keyboards) have spent the best part of the last decade playing anywhere that would have them. The result is a blue collar, bar-room toughened sound that suggests that Blackberry Smoke could break out of America to become the first southern rock superstars since Skynyrd.
They hit the UK for a show at London’s Barfly on November 13 tickets for which are available from here. Their visit is followed on February 17, 2014 with the European release of their third album The Whipporwill on the Earache label.
In the meantime, enjoy Pretty Little Lie, a taste of the album exclusive to MOJO: