Blackberry Smoke Brings Southern Rock To Boston

More Show Photos HERE
Venue: Paradise Rock Club

Photographer: Jeff Palmucci
Review By: Jeff Palmucci

Meet the band:


Blackberry Smoke blew through Boston last week and left quite an impression in Boston’s famed Paradise Rock Club.  The southern rock quintet out of Atlanta attracted people from all over New England, from the Berkshires to the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  And just like the band, the country spirit within the crowd was palpable.


The reason for the group’s visit was to promote their latest album- The Whippoorwill, produced by Zac Brown’s label Southern Ground.  And what makes this particular tour of Blackberry Smoke interesting to cover is that the band is alternating between opening for Zac and  being the headliner themselves in these well-attended shows.  Several concert goers I spoke with at the show told me they became Smoke fans after seeing them perform with Zac, whose band has earned 55 award nominations including the Grammy’s.
More than half of the songs from the Smoke’s set came from their new album – 11 out of the 19. The band quickly got the crowd engaged by starting off with the hard rocking “Leave a Scar”. This particular group is consistently compared to Skynyrd online, which undoubtedly is a good thing. Even so, their fresh lyrics and intricate guitar, add to the southern rock genre without seeming derivative. While these guys can rock, they also have a lot of range. At the other end of the spectrum, ballads like “One Horse Town” come in with a much purer country feel while “Up the Road” has a distinct bluesy sound. The entire album is excellent…their concert performance was flawless.

Front man Charlie Starr opened up the set with a “Great to be back in the USA!” A humorous reference to the hassle Canadian customs gave them while coming back across the border. Funny Facebook post: “Dear Canadian Border Patrol, Thanks for the 4 hour Anal Probe. We expect a Valentine’s Gift.

Charlie comes across as a laid back and friendly guy when interacting with the audience. He seems like a guy you’d want to hang out with for a beer and he’s entertaining to watch. Charlie and co-lead guitarist Paul Jackson put in great performances on guitar, executing awesome riffs that left me mesmerized in places.
As a tribute to Boston, the band played Aerosmith’s “Lord of the Thighs” as an encore. A little out of place, but the crowd loved it.
Blackberry Smoke was a new experience for me, and I enjoyed it a lot. On the drive home I picked up the Whippoorwill on iTunes. They have gained a new fan.  No doubt The Smoke will continue to rise to the top of Southern Rock Music charts- they aren’t fading anytime soon.

Set list:

Leave a Scar
Like I Am
I’d be Lyin
Pretty Lil Lie
Six Ways to Sunday
Good One
Crimson Moon
Sleepin’ Dogs
Everybody Knows She’s Mine
Up in Smoke
Ain’t Got the Blues
Ain’t Much Left of Me
One Horse Town
Son of the Bourbon
Up The Road
Shakin Hands with the Holy Ghost
Lord of the Thighs – Aerosmith
Shake Your Magnolia

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