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Black Stone Cherry is an American rock band that was formed in Edmonton, Kentucky. The band consists of Chris Robertson (lead singer, lead guitar) , Ben Wells (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Jon Lawhon (bass guitar, backing vocals) and John Fred Young (drums, backing vocals).
Chris Robertson and Richard Young’s (The Kentucky Headhunters‘s rhythm guitarist) son John Fred Young started to play music together in their early teens and the duo were soon after joined by Lawhon and Wells. Black Stone Cherry officially formed on the 4th of June 2001. The band then took over the practice house which had been used by The Kentucky Headhunters since 1968. They started recording their songs in the practice house. The band then started to perform at clubs in the area and gained a large following of fans from all ages.
The band’s self-titled debut album was released in May 2006. After they finished recording their first album they were invited by Chris Robertson’s former school principle to perform a homecoming gig in the gym of the local middle school. The gig was attended by 1500 people. The band received a royal welcome, as they entered the town the streets were filled with people holding “Welcome Home” signs.
They released the Hell & High Water EP (2006, Digital-only EP) on the 11th of November 2006.
It contained the following tracks:
- “Hell & High Water”
- “Big City Lights”
- “We Are the Kings”
On the 10th of July 2007 the band released the Rain Wizard EP (2007, Digital-only EP). It contained the following tracks:
- “Rain Wizard”
- “Drinkin’ Champagne”
- “Stop Runnin'”
BSC released their first live album on the 31st of October 2007 which was recorded and released on the same night at the Astoria in London. This album is a limited edition and mint condition albums was on sold on Amazon for £200. (in January 2013) The album was limited to 1000 copies and sold to the crowd after the concert.
On the 19th of August 2008 Black Stone Cherry released their second album titled Folklore and Superstition. Four singles from the album was released, these included; “Blind Man”, “Please Come In”, “Things My Father Said” and “Soulcreek”.
Drummer John Fred Young had this to say about Folklore and Superstition; “There is a mystique with folklore and superstition, we’re intrigued by and interested in history, roots and heritage, and we incorporate that into the band.” With the release of their second album Black Stone Cherry demonstrated their incredible talent for telling stories. “We are taking Southern tradition and giving a taste to the rest of the world,” says bassist/vocalist Jon Lawhon.
Famed rock producer Bob Marlette (Ozzy, Shinedown), accompanied by the band headed to Nashville’s Blackbird Studio. The band used turkey calls, a banjo and a washtub basin among other things while they were creating the album. The band was fearless when it came to experimenting with different sounds. The band travelled extensively during their tour cycle in 2006 in support of their debut album. This experience inspired the band to stretch their creativity like they never had before. Black Stone Cherry is a positive band and they try to write uplifting songs.
Vocalist/guitarist Chris Robertson reflects on the process, saying, “Starting out as a band seven years ago, with high hopes and even bigger dreams, I honestly believe this record shows the experience of our past travels, and gives a hint of the future. It captures all the energy and heart that make up Black Stone Cherry. We took some chances on this album and I believe that our fans will appreciate seeing the other sides of the band that they may or may not have known existed.” – Excerpt taken from http://www.blackstonecherry.com
Black Stone Cherry was asked by their female fans to write a song or two specifically taking their female fans into account, so the band decided to dedicate “You”, a timeless ballad to their female followers.
“Long Sleeves” is told from the viewpoint of a friend who who took part in the battle of Mogadishu which was depicted in the film Black Hawk Down.
“Things My Father Said” was covered by Elvis Blue on the final of South African Idols which took place on the 1st of November 2010. Elvis received 64% of the votes and went on to win Season 6 of South African Idols.
In 2008 the band supported Def Leppard and Whitesnake on their U.K. arena tour. In May 2009 Black Stone Cherry supported Nickelback on their Dark Horse tour, which is the reason I started listening to them in the first place. I decided to listen to a few tracks from BSC and I then went to purchase Folklore and Superstition shortly thereafter.
The band’s third album Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was released on the 31st of May 2011. The album was produced by Howard Benson (Seether, Halestorm, Three Days Grace) and the first single off of the album was titled “White Trash Millionaire“. The band was nominated for a classic rock award in 2011.
Black Stone Cherry supported Alter Bridge alongside Theory of a Deadman on a tour of Europe from October to November 2011. Cavo co-headlined a tour with Black Stone Cherry in February 2012 with Rains as support. The band also headlined their own sold-out U.K. tour supported by Rival Sons. They opened for Chicken Foot on their American tour in 2012.
Black Stone Cherry is a unique, Southern rock band and their song “Soul Creek” conjures up the feeling of sitting next to a dam/river around a bonfire with your friends sharing stories and occasionally going for a swim. Their music makes me feel part of a culture that I have never experienced. The band shares their folk stories with the listener and the music still manages to have a wide appeal even if you’re not familiar with the content. My favourite songs are “Lonely Train” to which I have air drummed to on numerous occasions :D, “Hell and High Water”, “Blind Man”, “Please Come In”, “Long Sleeves”, “White Trash Millionaire” and “Like I Roll”. The drumming in the song “Lonely Train” is astounding.
Black Stone Cherry is definitely one of the most unique bands I have listened to.
You can follow Black Stone Cherry on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlkStoneCherry
Like the Black Stone Cherry on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/?sk=h_chr#!/officialblackstonecherry?fref=ts
The following photos were taken by Francesco Tosi Photography whose work I’m a big fan of.
The Rock Riff will be reviewing Sinner’s Creed soon, so keep your eyes peeled!