"New Honky Tonk Bootlegs" (Self-produced; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

Georgia's Southern rock outfit, Blackberry Smoke, reached deep into their roots, leaned back and churned out some whiskey-and-sweat-soaked honky tonk with a whole lot of grit on these six tracks. They have composed some dirty and sad, twangy ramblings that will immediately soak into you. 

The best thing about this album, and this style, is how the band pulls and twists the absolute maximum ounce of emotion out of every note, beat and word. They know the meaning and the importance of inflection in the vocals and they have truly mastered patience in the music. The approach is from a style, say, oh around the 1970s and much further back. Yet they donít stop there as they add their own boot-heeled stamp by punching in finger bending Southern rock solos that help make the total sound thick as molasses. 

Blackberry Smoke have poured out an album that has all these little touches that lead to a very genuine sound that obviously came right from their heart and you easily identify that they love this style and wanted to create a complete package. Indeed they did.

This isnít always my favorite style, yet this album is just spot on in so many ways. My favorite track is likely ďLivin HellĒ (and we get both a clean and dirty version here). Due to the matter-of-fact way in which they talk about misery yet you feel even more alive for having heard this song. 

Definitely an album thatís worth checking out.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:11 -0400.