I heard these guys at the jam place that I used with one of the bands I was in. The guy that owned the premises, is a blues rock drummer and a part time bikie. He had the debut album playing on his stereo in the admin area of the complex. He told me the name of the band and off to TPB I went later that night and downloaded the first two albums.
Black Stone Cherry
The debut, released in 2006.
The opening metal like riff in “Rain Wizard” got me interested and the Chris Cornell like vocals hooked me in. The “Stockholm Syndrome” like riff from Muse in “Backwoods Gold” also made me interested.
And the album keeps rolling with “Lonely Train”, a Mesa Boogie down tuned rattler, about to go off the rails.
“Shooting Star” is a great song but the best song is “Drive”, hidden deep into the album. And the closer “Rollin’ On” closes off the album nicely.
Folklore and Superstition
Released in 2008, this is the album that stands out to me.
“Please Come In” sounds like a Led Zep/Bad Company cut.
“Reverend Winkle” is a cross between “Come Together” and an arena rock Chorus, about a person who knows the only way home. “Things My Father Said” is a song I’ve already written about.
“The Bitter End” is an impressive speed rock song but “Long Sleeves” and “Peace Is Free” are my favourites while “Ghost Of Floyd Collins”, “Stranger” and “Bulldozer” close out a pretty damn fine second album.
Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea
Released in 2011, this album is produced by Howard Benson and outside writers are contributing. The label or the band must have felt like they needed a more commercial pop push, but to me, there was nothing wrong with “Folklore and Superstition”. All it needed was an updated part 2.
The “White Trash Millionaire” aint “got much and they don’t care” as the song sleazily grooves from start to finish and the “Killing Floor” talks about how some people want other people to pay for their own shortcomings while it metallically smoulders along.
“Such A Shame” is a modern metal rock song. The lyrical theme is heavy, about child abuse, which would also turn off a lot of people from the song, as they don’t want to be confronted by heavy subject matter in music.
“Won’t Let Go” is a cool ballad, a love song about life keeping you running but you won’t let go of what you have. And the album changes tact with “Blame It On The Boom Boom”, a track which could have come from a Josey Scott “Saliva” album.
“Like I Roll” rocks along as it rolls along the open road with Rolling Stones on the radio and flying high until you die. “Stay” is one of those modern rock ballads which works for me about telling someone you love em, just to make em stay. And “Die With Me” closes the album nicely, with an arena chorus which makes me press repeat.
Released in 2014 and the heavy stoner groove and sound was exactly what I was looking for. If I had to rate the albums, this one and “Folklore and Superstition” would be battling it out in the Superbowl.
And when I think about it, the reason for really liking this album is the 70’s feel.
The 12/8 feel of “Holding On…To Letting Go” grabs me by the head and makes it bang and the Pantera/Dream Theater “Mirror” like breakdown cemented this song’s status as legendary.
“Peace Pipe” is one of the best Bad Company cuts that Bad Company didn’t write. “Bad Luck and Hard Love” and “Me And Mary Jane” all have that bluesy vibe, which I dig. “Runaway” about a rebel on the run and hooking up with a gypsy on the run, is perfect.
And they ask us to take a trip to the “Magic Mountain” after we drink from the fountain.
And Black Stone Cherry (named after a box of Black Stone Cigars with a cherry flavour) is a favourite, because at the core, they are a rock band, which bring in elements of so many different styles and genres into their mix.
Since, these albums, the band has released “Kentucky” in 2016 and “Family Tree” in 2018, along with two EP releases called “Black To Blues, Vol. 1” in 2017 and “Black To Blues, Vol. 2” in 2018. And it all falls in line with the current music model of releasing more frequently.