Blackberry Smoke’s The Whippoorwill is raggedly perfect

14 Feb

Metro

Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr has gritty rock conviction (Picture: David Stuart) Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr has gritty rock conviction (Picture: David Stuart)

Even in their native US, no one seems quite sure how to classify Blackberry Smoke. Are the Atlanta, Georgia quintet authentic Southern rockers in the mould of Lynyrd Skynyrd, or country boys with a more natural musical home in Nashville?

You won’t find any extended Freebird-style guitar wigouts on their third album, which got a North American release on country star Zac Brown’s Southern Ground label back in 2012. On the other hand, the Black Crowes-style Shakin’ Hands With The Holy Ghost comes roaring out of the speakers with the sort of electric vigour that can usually be relied on to get the neighbours banging on the walls, and you’ll certainly hear traces of .38 Special and Tres Hombres-era ZZ Top on the likes of Ain’t Much Left Of Me and the stirringly bluesy Crimson Moon.

But who cares…

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