Tag Archives: Blackberry Smoke

Album Review : Black Stone Cherry – ‘Kentucky’

Photos & Review : Peter Coates
blackstonecherrykentuckycd

From the grungy opening chords of The Way of the Future all the way to the heartfelt soulful close of The Rambler, this is an album that wears its heart right on its Southern Frock-coat sleeve. The fifth full-length release from Kentucky born and bred rockers Black Stone Cherry sees them continue to stay loyal to their deep southern roots, while delivering probably their heaviest riffs, and most soulful ballad on the same record.
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Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Four - March 27, 2016
Photographer:  Stuart Blythe

Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Four

Review By Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Four
Shooglenifty were a great fresh way to start Bluesfest 2016 Day 4. Their celtic flavours are not often heard at Bluesfest. A great contrast and way to refresh the ears, kind of like sniffing a coffee bean in between wine tasting. With a fiddle, banjo, mandolin, drums, guitar and bass these guys from Scotland had the audience experimenting with their best River Dance impersonations and moving in energetic ways that are not your usual Bluesfest hip swinging standard. With beautiful tunes, jigs and reels that branched out to sound almost middle eastern and esoteric at times, this band can really get you dancing. Violinist Angus Grant kept the focus sharply on the music declaring ‘we only have an hour, so we are going to dispense with the hysterical banter that goes on between songs’. See Shooglenifty perform today at the Juke Joint 4:15pm.
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Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Two - March 25, 2016
Photographer:  Stuart Blythe

Live Review + Photo Gallery : Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Two

Review By Wanda Hill
Photos by Stuart Blythe
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2016 – Day Two - March 25, 2016 Photographer:  Stuart Blythe
Wondering around the Bluesfest site during the early afternoon on day 2, I could hear a beautiful familiar voice rising over the cacophony of sounds emanating from multiple tents. Following the voice lead me to the Crossroads stage to find Djakapurra from Bangarra singing with East Journey, an amazing band from North East Arnhem Land carrying on the tradition of Yothu Yindi. They performed new original songs that are bound to end up in the charts as well as performing Yothu Yindi favourites such as Treaty. Lead singer Rrawun Maymuru’s versatility was showcased with vocal styles ranging form traditional ceremonial song poetry, to ballads and full on rock. His song writing is appreciated world wide through songs he has written for Gurrumul. The band and dancers were truly exceptional and will be appearing at the Boomerang Dance Grounds over the next 3 evenings.
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Live Review : Blackberry Smoke + Adam Eckersley Band at The Basement, Sydney – March 23, 2016

Review and photos by Peter Coates
Blackberry Smoke at The Basement, Sydney - March 23, 2016 Photographer: Peter Coates
Support act, the Adam Eckersley Band from the NSW Central Coast, took to the stage fresh from their CMC Rocks appearance and delivered a set of country-style folk-rock, full of Aussie attitude with a mean twin-acoustic guitar attack.

The band is pretty laid-back with lovely, easy harmonies with some raw emotion in the vocals and gave us a highlight set of ‘The First Album’ and the more recently released ‘The Second Album’. The crowd particularly enjoyed the acoustic solo from Adam in ‘Wheels’ and the set-closer featured some great interplay between the various band members, featuring drums, keyboards and bass. A terrific warm-up set from a great local outfit.

Blackberry Smoke are from Atlanta, Georgia, and have been linked to the stable of The Zac Brown Band for some of their earlier releases. They have been recording and touring for over 10 years, since the release of first album ‘Bad Luck Ain’t No Crime’ in 2004.

The lineup consists of Charlie Starr (lead vocals, guitar), Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals), and Brandon Still (keyboards). While the band is one tight country-rock outfit, there is no doubting the talent and sheer presence of front-man Charlie Starr, with a powerful vocal delivery, sharp moves and great guitar playing.

This is the band’s first visit to Australia for the Bluesfest in Byron Bay, so an early show in Sydney is a great way to see this critically-acclaimed southern country-rock band in an intimate setting. This will be the first and last time we will get to see the band play to 250 people in this country!

‘Holding All The Roses’ is the latest and fourth full-length album from early 2015, but their set was drawn from all four studio albums opeing up with ‘Six Ways’, ‘Let Me help You’ and ‘Like I Am’, before really warming the place up with ‘Pretty Lil Lie’. The crowd knew most of the songs and Charlie Starr was delighted with the response and the frequent singalongs!

The Turner boys on bass and drums must be the most laconic rhythm section doing the rounds, but rock solid with it. Lots of keyboards give some of the songs an atmospheric jazz-fusion feel with some great Hammond organ and honky-tonk piano from Brandon Still, particularly in the extended workout of ‘Sleeping Dogs’ and ‘Holy Ghost’ – but the band never strays far from the electric guitar-based core of the music.

The set rolled on with two cracking tracks in ‘Wish In One Hand’ and my favourite from the latest album, ‘Payback’ which is just a great rock song with a cool story. Title track of the previous record, ‘Whippoorwill’ almost felt like early Pink Floyd in the beginning but rolled into some great guitar work from both Paul Jackson and Starr with a glorious piano and organ solo from Stills.

The songs kept coming, with the simplest of ballads written about Manette, Alabama, One Horse Town, and then a retreat into 1980’s classic rock with ‘Up In Smoke’, contrasting the ballad with rumbling riffs and a wailing solo. The energy started building through ‘Ain’t Got The Blues’ and the enormous-sounding ‘Holding All The Roses’ with more killer riffs and a false ending before the raucous close.

‘Shake Your Magnolia’ closed the set as another upbeat piano and guitar-driven track before the encores brought the band back out, Starr in a tasteful hat, for ‘Too High’, new song ‘Let It Burn’, and the signature southern rock anthem of ‘Ain’t Much Left’.

Good luck Bluesfest – these guys are going to bring the deep south all the way to Bryon Bay this weekend – Do Not Miss Blackberry Smoke!

Click here to view our photos from the show
Blackberry Smoke at The Basement, Sydney - March 23, 2016 Photographer: Peter Coates

Headliner: Blackberry Smoke – www.blackberrysmoke.com
Support: Adam Eckersley Band – www.adameckersleyband.com
Venue: The Basement, Sydney Australia
Date: March 23, 2016
Photographer: Peter Coates – www.facebook.com/InsideEdgePhotography