Today is shaping up to be a good one. It’s Friday, summer is finally moving in, and we have a new album from Blackberry Smoke. This might just be the high point of the year so far.
It has been three years since the Georgia-based band delivered a studio album. Since then they’ve given us a live album and a handful of singles. Blackberry Smoke started teasing this release back in February when they dropped the title track. Then, they gave us three more singles from the album. Those singles were just an appetizer. Today, we get to sink our teeth into the full album. Let’s dig in.
First, let’s talk about the guest appearances on You Hear Georgia. Blackberry Smoke is a killer band on its own. Their blend of southern rock and country is like a big ol’ glass of sweet tea after a couple of shots of whiskey. That is to say, they’re amazing on their own. However, when they bring in some outside talent, it creates something really special.
“Lonesome for a Livin'” Featuring Jamey Johnson
Recently, we learned that Jamey Johnson isn’t actually working on a new album. However, if you’re craving some new music from the outlaw crooner, have no fear. Blackberry Smoke has you covered.
You might think of Blackberry Smoke as a rock band with a country twist. However, this song is pure country. It kicks off with a soaring steel guitar. The lyrics are packed with Hank Sr. references. To top it all off, Charlie Starr and Jamey Johnson have voices that work perfectly together. At the same time, they know how to ring every ounce of pain out of their soul when they sing. Is this the best country song this year? I don’t know. On the other hand, I can promise you that it’s the best one that hit shelves and streaming today.
“All Rise Again” Featuring Warren Haynes
“All Rise Again,” falls right after “Lonesome for a Livin’,” on the album. These two tracks show off the range of Blackberry Smoke’s sound. In the blink of an eye, You Hear Georgia goes from pure country gold to pure rock fury.
This one opens with some stoner rock-esque riffs that are as driving as they are chunky. The song features Gov’t Mule vocalist and axeman Warren Haynes. Starr and Haynes work off of each other effortlessly in the vocal department and, as usual, Haynes puts down some killer leads.
Starr and Haynes wrote the song together over the phone during quarantine, according to JamBase. It’s a lockdown anthem all about the crazy days we all lived through. However, it’s tinged with hope for the future. Put this one on to wake you up with your morning coffee.
Where There’s Blackberry Smoke There’s Fire
Blackberry Smoke really delivers the goods with You Hear Georgia. It runs the gamut from driving rockers like “All Rise Again,” and “All Over the Road,” to slower tunes like “Lonesome for a Livin’,” and the folky acoustic “Old Enough to Know.” However, the heart of the album is strong enough to make the varied tracks feel like a cohesive release. It’s a wonderful blend of blues, rock, and country from start to finish.
If you’re looking for some good, solid, southern-fried tunes to kick off your long weekend, look no further than You Hear Georgia.