Southern rock can be likened to a tree with many branches and even more roots. Tapping deep into the ground, it draws nourishment from blues, country, soul, folk, and a whole lot of other genres, all tangled together. The up-and-coming group Blackberry Smoke is the real thing, and their brand new album, The Whippoorwill, is distilled Southern goodness.
Channeling the heyday of Lynyrd Skynyrd before the plane crash that killed three band members and a crew member in 1977, BBS captures that essence with a sound that has the power to transport listeners straight to Jacksonville. With edge, humorous storytelling, and skilled musicianship, they put together songs rich with a sense of place and time. See for yourself in this recent performance of "Everybody Knows She's Mine":
This summer I was lucky enough to have caught not only Willie Nelson rockin' out at Red Rocks but Kris Kristofferson with Merle Haggard bringing down the house at the Denver Center for the Performing arts.
Since then I have been listening to a deeper variety of each of their music. My favorite Willie album remains "Red Headed Stranger" and I do prefer to listen to Kris's songs that are done by someone else (hey, he never claimed to be a good singer but, man, can that guy write a song!).
You don't have to be a fan or regular listener of country music to enjoy a good awards show. The 46th Annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) awards will be televised live on Sunday, April 3.
Two of my favorite ACM catagories for the 2011 awards are entertainer of the year and album of the year. Like most protagonists in a country music song, I am looking for a change and hope the academy gives a nod to Aldean or Lambert for entertainer of the year.
If you need a refresher on a performer's talents, listen to one of the CDs by a nominated artist: