Artist: Black Stone Cherry
Album: Folklore and Superstition (2008)
Label: RoadRunner Records
I first saw this band in 2007 at House Of Blues, opening for Hinder. Their debut CD made them one of the best new rock bands I had heard in a long, long time … but I often have found that slick, heavily-produced studio work can sometimes mask poor or weak live performances.
Ummm … not with these boys.
Distinctive vocals, aggressive, ball-busting guitars, and a dominate rhythm section combine to build a sound that is both clear and sonic … but their songwriting is equally masterful. No small feat in and of itself; but you see, this Kentucky-based band is young – and mature beyond their years on every level.
Their path from wide-eyed-but-extremely-talented first-timers to savvy, quick-learning veterans has been meteoric. They followed up a very powerful debut album with a well-crafted second release that completely obliterated any thought of “sophomore jinx” – if anything, this effort may surpass the self-titled offering. From the retro, hippie-trippy “Please Come In” (check out the video at http://www.blackstonecherry.com/notes/Please_Come_In) to the introspective, common-thread-for-everyone-tear-jerker “Things My Father Said” (want to see if you have a heart that can break? Listen carefully to the lyrics when you check out this video at http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/video/view.aspx?songID=2468), their hard driving edge is tempered with great hooks, great riffs, and great lyrics. It’s a killer beginning-to-end 13-track CD that leaves you hungry for more – and if you missed their self-titled debut, I strongly recommend that you check it out, also.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know; bad economy has cut your music budget .. well, buy these and do your part to stimulate the economy – and get a personal reward with a new attitude in return!
With Chris Robertson on Lead Vocals/Guitar, Ben Wells on Guitar, Jon Lawhon on Bass, and John Fred Young on drums (son of Kentucky Headhunters’ guitarist Richard Young), this is a band that exemplifies all that can be good in rock. A relentless touring schedule has honed their repertoire to a fine, hot edge of perfection that will renew your spirit and soothe your soul. This is one of those bands that give you double your money’s worth at a live show, so check their website for their touring schedule and drive, fly, swim, run (well, you get the idea) to their nearest tour venue and REALLY give yourself a treat by experiencing these boys live. Whatever expense you incur will be more than worth it – they are that good.
Best of all, their parents did a dang fine job of raising them .. besides their apparent talent, you won’t find a nicer, more decent or humble group of guys.
Reviewed by Brian M. Howle
The previous review was originally published February 26, 2009.