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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: Rising Appalachia buck the mainsteam, and that's fine with them – Rising Appalachia would not be accused of being in the musical mainstream. Not too many bands who combine folk and Appalachian sounds with new world music could possibly be. And that suits the sister-led duo of Chloe Smith and Leah Song just fine. In fact, at one point, Chloe made it clear she did not embrace radio play as a sign of success... »»»
Concert Review: Bingham plays with something to prove – Ryan Bingham mainly focused on songs from his sixth album "American Love Song," for this lively show. Backed by a supportive band that also included two female backup singers and a fiddler, Bingham's eclectic setlist touched upon country, singer/songwriter folk, rock and blues. Bingham reached for lively country sounds early on, with... »»»
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