Black Stone Cherry are releasing their new album – Family Tree on 20th April. It’s their sixth studio album – their first was released 12 years ago. Like me, some of you are probably thinking “Surely that can’t be right, it wasn’t that long ago”, but it really was. Their albums so far have been very strong. The first two came across as something new, then the following albums cemented their reputation as a very talented band, and their tours confirmed they’re a great live band too, but can they keep it up? Will it be more of the same, or maybe start to feel a bit repetitive? Well no, in fact they’ve given us an album that if anything, steps things up a notch.
Since the release of their last album, Kentucky, the band released an EP – Black to blues, an EP that paid tribute to several Blues legends with some cover versions. I think that was probably a sign that we could expect more of a Blues sound to creep into this album, and that certainly seems to have happened. They haven’t ditched their Southern Rock sound in favour of making a Blues album, but what they have done is brought a Blues sound in and mixed it with their Southern rock to give a more diverse sound.
Check out the opening track – Bad Habit…
Burnin’ has a guitar riff that just makes me think of ZZ Top – I can easily imagine them doing this song.
Understandably in “James Brown” there’s a nice funk element, and the female gospel singer style backing vocals suit the song and it’s subject nicely.
There’s a gospel element in “My last breath” too, but this time it’s an organ. It’s a beautiful song with a really intimate personal feel.
“Dancin’ in the rain” see’s the band joined by Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes
“I need a woman” is a blues-rock song which sounds like it’s influenced by bands such as Free or Bad Company.
Listening to the album, it’s clearly their most diverse album yet and they’ve brought in a wider range of influences than before – so there’s the southern rock element but then they’ve added funk, gospel, blues and blues-rock to it. It’s an absolutely fantastic album.
1. Bad habit
3. New kinda feelin’
4. Carry me down the road
5. My last breath
6. Southern fried Friday night
7. Dancin’ in the rain
8. Ain’t nobody
9. James Brown
10. You got the blues
11. I need a woman
12. Get me over you
13. Family tree