Southern rock quintet Blackberry Smoke recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Blackberry Smoke discussed the lasting influence of Southern rock, performing live and their most recent release, 2012's The Whippoorwill.
"When it's so good it just can't get old," said Blackberry Smoke's guitarist/vocalist Charlie Starr. "[Southern rock is] always a welcome sound to people's ears."
Hailing from Atlanta, Blackberry Smoke combine elements of arena rock, bluegrass, country, gospel, and soul. The band's lineup features guitarist/vocalist Paul Jackson, Starr, keyboardist Brandon Still, drummer Brit Turner, and bassist/vocalist Richard Turner. In 2004 Blackberry Smoke independently released their debut album, Bad Luck Ain't No Crime. The quintet's proper full-length debut, Little Piece Of Dixie, was released in 2009 and was co-produced by GRAMMY nominee Dann Huff and GRAMMY winner Justin Niebank.
Blackberry Smoke subsequently inked a deal with GRAMMY winner Zac Brown's imprint, Southern Ground Records, for the release of 2012's The Whipporwill. Co-produced by Blackberry Smoke with Zac Brown, Clay Cook and Matt Mangano, the album reached No. 8 on Billboard's Country Albums chart, while also cracking the Top 40 on the Billboard 200.
With a touring schedule that has included upward of 250 live dates per year, Blackberry Smoke have shared the stage with artists such as the Marshall Tucker Band, George Jones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and ZZ Top. The quintet is currently in the midst of a U.S. tour, with dates scheduled through October, including a slot on the Simple Man Cruise VII.