Cover Photo and Review by Max Stewart
Blackberry Smoke are the quintessential rock ‘n’ roll band if you need a little southern goodness in your musical diet. Throughout their career, the Atlanta band has put together some infectious studio material to a legion of faithful fans that long for the days when the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Waylon Jennings, and Little Feat were musical mainstays. Blackberry Smoke have found a way to perfectly balance the distorted, Delta blues boogie that is rooted in the Seventies with some of the accessible lyrical themes of country music.
To fully appreciate the allure and dexterity of this band, you need to see these road warriors live. That is not to discount the achievements of their studio records, which have all been infectious and continue to improve after each new release. After seeing Blackberry Smoke live, however, you will want to hop behind the wheel of a ‘69 Camaro and rip it down Highway I-85 while blasting some of their deep-fried tunage till the speakers blow out.
Lucky for you, the band just released their second live record (Homecoming: Live in Atlanta), recorded around Thanksgiving of last year at their annual holiday homecoming concert at the Tabernacle in Atlanta. Having attended the show alongside my family, I can testify firsthand that this album captures every ounce of rousing energy that was on display that evening last year. No post-production ‘smoke and mirrors,’ just raw, unadulterated SMOKE. In fact, some of my wife’s family who were unfamiliar with the band before the show became full-on Blackberry Smoke converts after seeing them live.
Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Blackberry Smoke’s Homecoming: Live in Atlanta to experience why this band is continuing to draw larger crowds throughout the country and abroad. Too many highlights to count from the new live record, including the stomping “Waiting for the Thunder,” the crowd singing along to “Ain’t Got The Blues” and “One Horse Town,” and the spine-tingling “Amazing Grace” slide intro to “Ain’t Much Left of Me,” and so many more.
Don’t take my word for it though. Give the new live record a spin and try not to shake that money maker like you’re front row at a BBS show yourself.