Georgia-based Blackberry Smoke released their third studio album under Zac Brown's label, Southern Ground. After one listen, you'll understand why he would want to be associated with this band. My only complaint... why I haven't heard these guys until now?!? They are southern rock at its finest. Skynyrd would be proud. Their songs are gritty, real, and have funky grooves that hook you from the start.
I could hear "One Horse Town" on Country radio today, even though it doesn't really sound like Country radio today. But it fits the theme of living in a small town where generations of families live there, and people are known by the reputation of their last name. This little bitty town / it ain't nothing new / we all stick around / 'cause they all tell us to.
A stand-out track for me is the title track, "The Whippoorwill." It's full of minor keys, bluesy harmonies, and steel guitar cries. It's hard to believe you're hearing the same guy, Charlie Starr, sing lead on this song as the other rocking tracks like "Ain't Much Left of Me."
"Up The Road" is a favorite of mine and has a great message about appreciating what you have. The grass ain't always greener / just like we're always told / you may not have the winning hand / but you ain't got to fold / it just seems that much warmer / when you come in from the cold / 'cause things ain't always better up the road. The guitar solo at the end is pretty excellent too. Nice way to end the album.
This is sitting around the fire, having a few cold beverages, catching up with some friends kind of music. It could easily be found on repeat at my house. There's not a bad track to be found. Let me know if you feel the same way.