Album review: BLACKBERRY SMOKE – Like An Arrow

The Best of 2016

BLACKBERRY SMOKE - Like An Arrow

Earache Records [Release date 15.10.16]

Blackberry Smoke are back with the follow-up to last year’s ‘Holding All The Roses’, an Album of the Year selection here at GRTR! and a rare five star album from me. So no pressure then lads… No need to really worry as Blackberry Smoke have produced another fine set of tunes and each one holds its own delights.

Opener ‘Waiting For The Thunder’ is a classic Blackberry Smoke tune, blues rock guitars, the distinctive vocals of Charlie Starr and tasty Hammond playing from Brandon Still. They up the pace on the good time rocker ‘Let It Burn’ (shades of the Georgia Satellites on this one) and then there is the personal ‘The Good Life’, a song recalling the advice given to Charlie Starr by his dad. Again they nail it musically, from the slow backing and the sublime guitar solo midway through, along with a storytelling lyric that the band do so well.

‘Sunrise In Texas’ sounds as you’d expect given the song title, with a gentle electric piano intro and vocal, until the band kick in with a slow, wistful groove. Perfect laid back music. They haven’t lost their rock side as ‘Workin’ For A Workin’ Man’ would give Lynyrd Skynyrd a run for their money. This one and ‘Waiting For The Thunder’, sound tailored made for the live shows.

‘Free On The Wing’ closes the album and they are joined by Greg Allman on backing vocals. The piano and slide playing on this recall those classic 70′s southern flavoured rock albums. Although clocking in at nearly six minutes, the band never over indulge themselves with needless/endless solos, for them the melody and the song are the key focal points.

Blackberry Smoke come in from a country base (their last album topped the US country charts plus made number 7 in the rock charts) and add in some blues, bluegrass, southern rock, and do so with style. Another album of songs that will stand the test of time and many will doubtless become firm favourites in their live shows.  *****

Review by Jason Ritchie




 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections


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