As I enter my golden anniversary with rock and roll, Blackberry Smoke harbor feelings in me I haven’t felt since grade school. Up past curfew sitting on a wicker chair with my ear pressed against the window as a country band blazes across the street. I’m thinking to myself this is the most heavenly sound I’ve ever heard. Pedal steel guitars, beer bottles breaking and a guy bellowing, “Don’t shake my tree.” If my mom woke up and saw this it would be worse than getting caught smoking cigarettes or drinking the leftover beer cans tossed in the ditch on the way to school.
With a quote from the choir, “Blackberry Smoke, always on the road. This is what you love to do you’re good at it. Keep doing it because if you pull a band off the road it’s like taking water away from a plant or not feeding a pet. They’ll just wither up,” and with their assemblage of releases, we have Homecoming: Live in Atlanta, a perfect Christmas date optionally available on LP, CD and DVD format.
Fans of Skynyrd, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top, don’t sweat the petty things or pet the sweaty things as these boys from Atlanta continue to fly the free bird middle finger sending the later day saints boot scoot boogying back to the farm to play duck, duck goose.
“Run Away From It All” and check out this live clip from Homecoming: Live in Atlanta:
Frontman Charlie Starr steals Jimmy Page’s Les Paul tone in “Nobody Gives A Damn,” with lyrics that give us hope for a brighter day; “You can make something outta nothing my friend, make yourself a little money to spend.” Elsewhere, “Sleeping Dogs” fly us into a space odyssey before orbiting planet “Come Together” letting you know the smoke will “be all over you like stink on shit” when the band comes back to tera firma.
“One Horse Town” is a melting pot of heartbeats and tears, and promises kinda sorta like Miranda Lambert’s shotgun blast to the heart via “Famous In A Small Town,” but at 22:49 Charlie takes a deep breath and exhales, “We just got home, we’ve been in Europe for seven weeks. We learned some interesting things along the way. Which drugs are legal in which countries. There’s certain times when it’s valuable to Google shit like this and find out if we’re going to go to jail or not.” And with that The Smoke proceeds to take a slow toke of “Medicate My Mind.”
The cool thing about ol Charlie Starr is he can whip up a cocktail of your favorite musical servings as you try to get your three AM hump on in “Flesh and Bone.” Please pick up your condoms and condiments on the way out.
Blackberry Smoke have built a cult following, and with Homecoming: Live in Atlanta there’s no lack of butt shaking, pot smoking and beer drinking in this congressional house of rock and roll. If you wanna play you gotta pay, so the next time The Smoke hit town be sure to include your brethren, wives, girlfriends, and mommas into the barnyard stomp known as Blackberry Smoke.
This might be a “One Horse Town,” but we love the music!
Homecoming: Live in Atlanta Track Listing:
01. Nobody Gives A Damn
02. Waiting for the Thunder
03. Pretty Little Lie
04. Let It Burn
05. Best Seat In The House
06. Medicate My Mind
07. Sleeping Dogs
08. Run Away From It All
09. Running Through Time
10. Lord Strike Me Dead
11. Mother Mountain
12. Ain't Got The Blues
13. Free On The Wing
14. One Horse Town
15. I'll Keep Ramblin'
16. Flesh And Bone
17. Not Fade Away
18. Ain't Much Left Of Me
19. Up The Road
20. Payback's A Bitch
21. Space Captain
Run Time: 155:08 Release Date: November 15, 2019 Record Label: 3 Legged Records