"Folklore and Superstition" (Roadrunner; 2008)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

For those that love Southern rock (and you know who you are), Black Stone Cherry lift another glass of brew to celebrate their second release on Roadrunner Records. Roots run deep in the South and when you've got a sound like these guys it's best to let the world know just what it means to get back to your core. Obvious influences such as The Black Crowes and Lynyrd Skynyrd are prevalent when you cue the first track. But, even though they may nod their heads in the direction of those bands, they keep with their own style and produce some solid rock'n'roll.

This disc climbed the charts and peaked at number 28 in the US and number 1 on the UK Rock chart. "Folkore and Superstition" has more layers than their self-titled CD of 2006. There is plenty of rude guitar and great storytellin' but there are also some melodic choruses along with piano and that gives it more sides. Those that want to approach it looking for a different angle can surely find one. For those that want an organ sound, your wish has been granted: "Devil's Queen" will satisfy. I don't want to forget about the harmonica crowd either; you get a taste of that on "The Key."

A few songs have an acoustic start and then climb to a crescendo only to come back to the beginning sound. These tracks sound like they were written for the audience to sing along with. Black Stone Cherry are talented in and out of the studio. For those who like a vinyl treasure to hold in their hands, you're in luck. This disc was released on three formats, CD (Compact Disc), LP (Gramophone Record) and DD (Digital Distribution). The standard disc comes with 13 tracks but if you want more they have a special edition disc with more songs and since the digital world doesn't want to miss out on all the fun you can click on iTunes and gather more. There are 25 available tracks when you add it all up.

Download these: "Blind Man," "Please Come In," "Soul Creek," "The Bitter End," "Devil's Queen," and "Ghost of Floyd Collins."

Black Stone Cherry: Chris Robertson - lead vocals, guitar; Ben Wells - guitars, backing vocals; Jon Lawhon - bass guitar, backing vocals; John Fred Young – drums.

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"Black Stone Cherry" (Roadrunner; 2006)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Black Stone Cherry has a little history and a lot of good storytellin’ in them. Drummer John Fred Young's dad and uncle are both in the Kentucky Headhunters. Plus having Southern roots to grow up on and branch out with gave them a launching pad to create their unique style and sound.

This self-titled CD has a tough sound that emulates a few bands that obviously influenced Black Stone Cherry: Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Black Crowes are the most obvious. The guitar intro reminds me of that line from the movie “Billy Jack” where Billy says he’s going to take his right foot and whop the other guy on the left side of his face. It just about has that kind of surprise. The guitar has a melodic sound to it but with a hard power for each track. The solos are slick but I'm not talking candy at all; it's more like teeth busting, short and the point. If you’re not driving 90mph while listening to this CD then you’re probably stuck in park.

The vocals have a raw approach to them and the demeanor of Chris Robinson sounds like he’s flipping off the crowd while he stares down each person listening. His Southern drawl has a perfect background with the band pushing their hard-hitting sound right at you.

Since Southern rock relies on good stories and legends to create a song, Black Stone Cherry use this element proficiently. The song “Rain Wizard” is about a wise man that could bring rain in times of drought. “Backwoods Gold” is about a store owner who ran moonshine out of his hardware store. Since Edmonton, Kentucky is a dry county this story is legendary.

Black Stone Cherry cover an old Yardbirds favorite tilted “Shapes Of Things” Well, they don’t just cover it but smother it in Southern sauce that makes it a tasty little track.

The best cuts are “Rain Wizard,” “Backwoods Gold,” “Lonely Train,” “Maybe Someday,” and “Shooting Star.”

Black Stone Cherry: Chris Robertson – vocals; Ben Wells – guitar; John Lawhon – bass; John Fred Young – drums.

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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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Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:11 -0400 .