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Mary Sarah, Blackberry Smoke, BlackHawk play it again

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 – A teen from Texas drawn to country greats and a veteran southern band who go live are out today with CDs. Plus a band who has not been heard from in 12 years.

Mary Sarah, the Texas teen, makes "Bridges" between past and present with her new CD. She covers famous songs with help from them in doing so. For example, Willie Nelson lends his vocal talents on "Crazy," while Dolly Parton does the same on "Jolene." The late Ray Price sings on "Heartache by the Numbers."

Blackberry Smoke upped its profile a lot last time out with "The Whippoorwill," which came out in 2012. Now, the Atlanta based country/Southern rock quintet is out with a CD/DVD "Leave a Scar Live in North Carolina." The CD portion contains 22 songs.

BlackHawk returns with its first album in 12 years, "Brothers of the Southland." Henry Paul and Dave Robbins, who have been part of the band since the beginning, are the mainstays once again.

More news for Blackberry Smoke

CD reviews for Blackberry Smoke

The Southern Ground Sessions CD review - The Southern Ground Sessions
Blackberry Smoke's "The Southern Ground Sessions" EP is five versions of songs from the band's recent "Find a Light" album, along with a cover of Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky," which also features vocalist/violinist Amanda Shires. The project takes its name from the Southern Ground studio in Nashville, and this band, which can ramp up its music to Southern rock power - especially in concert - takes a few moments to quiet things down. »»»
Find a Light CD review - Find a Light
Blackberry Smoke will never fit the mold of a mainstream country act the way, say, Midland has done. They love to rock way too much to ever tamp it down permanently. And the aptly named "The Crooked Kind" follows a rollicking, rock & roll path that feels like just the right road. With that said, though, there are moments during "Find A Light" where Blackberry Smoke softens the sonic nicely and naturally. "Medicate My Mind," for instance, rocks to a likeable, gentle groove. »»»
Like An Arrow CD review - Like An Arrow
Blackberry Smoke may never fit into any country music traditionalist's definition of true country music. The guitars are too loud and the there's far more boogie than twang in the act's sound. Nevertheless, this act fits squarely into the description of fine Southern rock. "Like an Arrow" hits all the right stylistic marks. "The Good Life," for instance, doesn't align itself with many of the usual sonic elements of a country song, but its lyric - all about »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Lane, Ramsey, Barrett cover their bases – Covers played a far more prominent role than usual at a country show. And instead of what is typically the least course of resistance in recent years of country artists succumbing to their renditions of a rock hit, Chris Lane, Mason Ramsey and Gabby Barrett played songs that actually were country hits. Interestingly, the youngest of the bunch, Ramsey,... »»»
Concert Review: Mumford and Sons up to snuff, for the most part – Mumford and Sons have always played it smart when it has come to career moves. They have not overtoured by becoming regular fixtures on the touring circuit. Their M.O. is to tour just enough upon an album release and then disappear for a stretch. Ditto for releasing new music ("Delta" just came out last month, Mumford's first release... »»»
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The Southern Ground Sessions CD review - The Southern Ground Sessions
Blackberry Smoke's "The Southern Ground Sessions" EP is five versions of songs from the band's recent "Find a Light" album, along with a cover of Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky," which also features vocalist/violinist Amanda Shires. »»»