Outsider Anthems: ‘Old Scarecrow’ by Blackberry Smoke

by Clayton Edwards

At Outsider, we know that few things feed the soul like good music. The best music isn’t just a soundtrack. It reaches in and touches our hearts or says all the things that we’ve been thinking. Nothing gets us singing along quite like those songs that truly reflect what we believe as a unit—that the spirit of the everyday American is bigger than any divide, that there is more than enough common ground for all of us to stand tall.

This week’s Outsider Anthem is Blackberry Smoke’s “Old Scarecrow,” because it checks all of the aforementioned boxes.

Blackberry Smoke featured “Old Scarecrow” as the closing track on their 2021 album, You Hear Georgia. Frontman Charlie Starr co-penned the track with guitarist Rickey Medlocke (Blackfoot, Lynyrd Skynyrd).

Jason Charles Miller cut the song for his 2018 album, In the Wasteland. However, his version is a straightforward southern rock track. This cut, though, has a great country-blues-rock feel that gives the whole arrangement a little more weight.

After the first verse, I knew this track would make a great debut for the Outsider Anthem series. The connection got stronger from there.

“I ain’t losin’ sleep over your opinion / I ain’t worried ’bout how you spend your time / If we could get back to livin’ and let livin’ / That would be about right for me and mine.”

Yeah, that sounds a whole lot like us.

Smoke ’Em

Blackberry Smoke is an Atlanta-based band that formed in 2000. Their lineup has been consistent over the years with Charlie Starr (lead vocals) Paul Jackson (guitar), Richard Turner (bass), Brandon Still (keys), and Brit Turner (drums).

Much like their city, their sound is a melting pot. They seamlessly blend Southern rock, country, and folk to create something unique. It’s like sweet tea and fried chicken for your ears.

If you’ve never heard Blackberry Smoke’s music, that’s okay. “Old Scarecrow” is a great start. However, you’ve most likely heard the people that they’ve worked with in the past. For instance, they have shared the stage with both ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd. On their latest album, they collaborated with Jamey Johnson and guitarist Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule).

Standing With ‘Old Scarecrow’

There are plenty of songs that have a couple of lines or even a verse that speaks to the Outsider spirit. However, this track hits home with almost every line. It really feels like we’re on the same page as Blackberry Smoke on this one.

We know that hard work makes the world go ’round. Blackberry Smoke is all about working hard on this track.

For instance, take a look at the first half of the chorus: “Like an old scarecrow / Standin’ in the sun / Day after day / His work ain’t never done.” That hits the nail on the head for us.

The rest of the lyrics build more on the same themes. When it comes down to it, “Old Scarecrow” is about working hard, making a stand, and living your life the way you want while letting everyone else do the same. That’s a philosophy we can hang our hats on.

If you liked “Old Scarecrow,” you should also check out “Lonesome for a Livin’,” which features Jamey Johnson. If you’re looking for something that rocks a little harder, “Live It Down” is a must-listen track. Both are featured on Blackberry Smoke’s 2021 album, You Hear Georgia.