- Brand new studio album from Atlanta, Georgia southern rock kings Blackberry Smoke
- 12 new songs produced by Brendan O’Brien (AC/DC, Black Crowes, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam)
- Blackberry Smoke stormed into the UK Top 30 in February 2014 with the European release of their album The Whippoorwill
- The band’s live album Leave a Scar: Live in North Carolina debuted at number 35 in the UK charts in August 2014
On February 9, 2015, Atlanta’s Blackberry Smoke will release Holding All the Roses, the band’s fourth studio album. “I think that this record does a really good job of conveying what we do and what we’re about,” says singer-guitarist-songwriter Charlie Starr.
Holding All the Roses compellingly captures the energy, attitude and honesty that have already helped to makeBlackberry Smoke one of America’s hottest live rock ‘n’ roll outfits, as well as a grass-roots phenomenon with a large and fiercely loyal fan base.
The 12-song set – produced by Brendan O’Brien, whose previous production clients have included AC/DC,Aerosmith, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young – showcases the Atlanta-based quintet’s emotion-charged mix of bluesy rock, gospel soul, and country, with Starr’s raspy twang matched by his and Paul Jackson’s snarling guitars, Brandon Still’s hauntingly expressive organ and piano, and the propulsive sibling rhythm section of Richard and Brit Turner. The songs’ musical and emotional appeal is further elevated by the band’s three-part vocal harmonies and expanded arrangements that make judicious use of fiddle and added percussion.
The musical maturity that’s on display throughout Holding All the Roses underlines Blackberry Smoke’s steady evolution from rough-edged club act to arena-ready rock ‘n’ roll juggernaut. Since its formation in 2000, the band has never shied away from hard work, playing more than 250 shows a year and building an ever-expanding audience on the strength of its live shows, and with a noticeable lack of mainstream hype.
“We’ve built our audience one fan at a time,” states drummer Brit Turner. “Sometimes it feels like we know every one of them personally, and we’re constantly amazed and moved by their loyalty and passion.”
Along the way, Blackberry Smoke has found time to record a handful of independent releases, including the albums Bad Luck Ain’t No Crime, Little Piece of Dixie, and The Whippoorwill, plus a pair of EPs, the concert DVDLive at the Georgia Theatre, and the live CD/DVD set Leave A Scar.
In addition to winning fans and friends throughout the United States, they’ve toured Europe three times, had their songs featured in movie and video-game soundtracks, and performed for country legend George Jones (who guested on the band’s second album) on his 80th birthday.
Jones isn’t the only notable artist who’s come out as a Blackberry Smoke fan. Dierks Bentley, Jamey Johnson,Grace Potter and the Zac Brown Band have all gone on record as admirers, while ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbonsadmiringly advised, “The band is tight enough. Quit practicing!,” and no less an authority than Gregg Allmanstated “That band is gonna put Southern Rock back on the map.”
The critics agree. The Washington Post proclaimed them “a band that can reclaim Southern Rock for the South,”and the Atlanta Journal Constitution declared, “The Atlanta quintet is the real deal.” Billboard praised their “epic-sounding ballads,” and The New Orleans Times-Picayune called them “an airtight band that is far smarter and more sophisticated than casual observers may realize… Blackberry Smoke’s amalgamation of hearty Southern rock, alt-country and deep soul is equally suited for roadhouses or arenas.”
The acclaim extends to the other side of the Atlantic. The London Times noted, “Unpretentious and as musically tight as you would expect a band who plays night after night would be, Blackberry Smoke brought a little bit of Georgia sunshine to a rainy night in London.” The English hard-rock journal Kerrang! proclaimed, “Blackberry Smoke are now a Big Deal… They’ve achieved it simply because they’re awesome.”
While the five bandmates are excited at the potential of reaching new listeners, they’re not planning on altering their approach for mass consumption.
“The plan for this record,” Charlie says, “is to go out and play as much as we can, and just take it to the people. There’s so much that’s out of your hands when you release a record, but that’s the part that we can control. That, and making an effort to make a better record every time.”
Holding All the Roses
Label: Earache Records
Release: 9 February 2015
1. Let Me Help You (Find the Door)
2. Holding All the Roses
3. Living in the Song
4. Rock and Roll Again
5. Woman in the Moon
6. Too High
7. Wish in One Hand
8. Randolph County Farewell
9. Payback’s a Bitch
10. Lay It All on Me
11. No Way Back to Eden
12. Fire in the Hole
Charlie Starr – Vocals/Guitar
Paul Jackson – Guitar/Vocals
Richard Turner – Bass/Vocals
Brandon Still – Keys
Brit Turner – Drums