Artist: Black Stone Cherry
Title: Family Tree
Label: Mascot Recording Group
Black Stone Cherry are back with their latest album “Family Tree”, and it seems that each branch not only has its own story to tell but is strong enough to stand on its own. Since parting with Roadrunner, the bands last two efforts “Kentucky” and the covers EP “Black to Blues” have shown a growth of a band somewhat previously held back by corporate decision making, but wanting to make life fun, and keep the party going. Thankfully they were able to do just that.
The album kicks off, with “Bad Habit” a really cool tongue in cheek number with innuendo flowing through the lyrics, the changes throughout the song really keep the listener guessing which is a very cool way to kick off an album. From there we head to the first single from the album. “Burnin” is simple, classic rock. Don’t look for some great meaning, it’s just a fun rock n roll song. Some great tips of the hat throughout to their influences are obvious, but its undeniably BSC.
“New Kinda Feelin” is equal parts aggression and equal parts Southern Rock with its honky tonky piano accents throughout. “Carry Me on Down the Road” is almost like their theme song for the upcoming tour to support “Family Tree”. BSC is a band that has carved their path through some heavy road yards, and this tips the hat to it. Speaking of the road, “My Last Breath” is the one that will raise the cell phone lights around the world, it’s going to be a ballad that will always be a highlight from the bands career. A really well-crafted song to pull at the heart strings.
“Southern Fried Friday Night” is a straight up foot stomper for that person checking out of work and heading off with the windows down towards the weekend. “Dancin In the Rain” has such a great groove with some great little lead runs through it, which really shows the quality of the playing in this band. All the guitar runs are made for the song, not made for the guitar player. “Ain’t Nobody” has some super tasty slide work, which in some Southern Rock, can be well over played and used everywhere, but not in this case. A huge chorus with some really great backing vocals take this song to the next level. “James Brown” was one of the first songs written for the new album, and one John Fred (Read Our Interview with John here) hopes to become a staple of their live set. Totally understandable once you really take their tribute to the godfather of soul in”
“You Got the Blues” is just another straight up rocker with a southern flavour dripping from it. Just a simple song which holds its place on the album nicely. “I Need A Woman” is full of hooks, and so catchy, you will find yourself going back for listen after listen, believe me, you will. “Get Me Over You” has equal parts funk, blues and rock blended with signature BSC fun. It really is a fun fun tune. The album closes out with the title track. It shows the band wearing its heart on its sleeve, without coming across as forced or fake. They are really just making a statement of, “this is us, Black Stone Cherry, this is who we are, we hope you like what you have heard, and see you next time”.
Funnily enough, that’s exactly what I thought. I look forward to next time. The bands progression is evident, so by the time it comes to make another record, safe to say I will be as impressed as I am with this album if not more. If you like your rock with fun, tongue in cheek lyrics, and just want to have a party for one, or for many, this is album for you. Get on out and grab it
1. Bad Habit
3. New Kinda Feelin’
4. Carry Me On Down The Road
5. My Last Breath
6. Southern Fried Friday Night
7. Dancin’ In The Rain (feat. Warren Haynes)
8. Ain’t Nobody
9. James Brown
10. You Got The Blues
11. I Need A Woman
12. Get Me Over You
13. Family Tree