Blackberry Smoke – Holding All The Roses : an AOR classic

Sometimes being kicked in the ass could be great, at least figuratively. To describe it as it is that's exactly what happened to me when I first heard Blackberry Smoke’s southern rock. Like a drift in the dusty sand, a wonderful Saturday night sunset introducing an amazing night up to come, their music is made to be part of life.

Blackberry Smoke
Blackberry Smoke

Maybe working with a producer such as Brendan O’Brien, who worked with rock legends like AC/DC, Aerosmith or Neil Young, adds a bit to the alchemy. They’ve got a thick and powerful sound with nervous guitars and this south spirit that reminds us Lynyrd Skynyrd. Actually it ain’t such a surprise. Blackberry Smoke used to play opening acts for many artists, including Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top.

Coming from Atlanta, GA, Blackberry Smoke is a mix of peaches sweetness and blackberries sourness. Despite the cooking analogy, Holding All The Roses, their fourth album, is a lovely combination which leads to such an energy like a Chevrolet speeding on a highway. Their compositions grab you instantly, for your own good.

Blackberry Smoke - Holding All The Roses

We get filled with a freedom feeling and joy which would make impossible to anyone not to dance. Songs like “Let Me help You” will make you wriggle almost immediately. But who would complain about it? True rock spirit here we are. Blackberry Smoke explores its own style with great talent. From soft classic rock to really hard one like “Holding All The Roses”, they pledge their allegiance to rock’n’roll like many before them. They’re no rookies and we can hear it. Rhythmic and guitars are well mastered without mentioning the quality of vocals harmonies.

If I should tell what I think about this record, I would tell it is great. But, actually it’s more like: “wow man, you should listen to it right now, get up and dance!” It’s this kind of work. The one you listen to and then ask to yourself this stupid rhetorical question: how would I ever live without knowing about this? Obviously, that’s what an instant classic is.

Critically acclaimed, Holding All The Roses is a milestone in Blackberry Smoke‘s career. A long trip with a fan base slowly growing to be international and highly loyal now. Guitarist Charlie Starr explains why the band took time to achieve such a record: "In the past, we never really had the resources to make the kind of records we wanted to make, […] but this time around, everything lined up, and we were able to create an album that covers a lot of musical ground and works as a listening experience from beginning to end."

Indeed this album is a real journey to fully enjoy. Blackberry Smoke is not an old band, since their first album came out in 2004, but you can already store it on your music collection shelf next to rock legends like Aerosmith, Kiss, Lynyrd Skynyrd or AC/DC. A classic I told you.
Check out their website : http://www.blackberrysmoke.com/