Black Stone Cherry take their own brand of American Southern rock to the Ironworks,Inverness on Friday the 23rd of March, 2012, preview by Mark Allison.
I first ‘discovered’ Black Stone Cherry in 2009 as support to Nickleback in Glasgow. Unlike many support bands I’ve seen over the years in big arenas, the guys held my attention all the way through their set, and when I heard they were making the visit north, I had to make sure I was there to see them again.
The band consists of Chris Robertson (lead vocals, guitar), Ben Wells (guitar, backing vocals), Jon Lawhon (bass guitar, backing vocals), and John Fred Young (drums, backing vocals).
The band started in 2001 in Edmonton, Kentucky and have had the same line-up all the way through from those early days as young teenagers. Chris Robertson and John Fred Young, son of Headhunter’s rhythm guitarist Richard Young, started to play music together early in their teens and Wells and Lawhon soon followed. Black Stone Cherry officially formed on June 4, 2001. They then took over the practice house that had been used by The Kentucky Headhunters since 1968 and began to record tracks.
By 2006 they were signed, had their debut album released and were touring all over the world along with some big names in the rock world including Def Leppard and Whitesnake.
It would be the release of their second album ‘Folklore and Superstition’ that would catapult them into a more commercial arena. The album spawned four singles, “Blind Man,” “Please Come In,” “Things My Father Said,” and “Soulcreek” and made the top 30 charts in both the USA and UK.
On the release of the album, the band had this to say of it: “There is a mystique with folklore and superstition,” says Black Stone Cherry drummer John Fred Young. “We’re intrigued by and interested in history, roots and heritage, and we incorporate that into the band.” The ability to tell compelling stories and lyrical tales isn’t the only thing that Black Stone Cherry brings to the table. The band can churn out riffs that’ll put hair on your chest. They crank out choruses that are fit for a fist-raising rebel rousing and still keep the beauty of a Sunday morning back porch service. Folklore and Superstition isn’t just a Southern rock record. It’s an American rock n’ roll record.”
“This album has allowed us to dig deep into our roots,” continues Young. “It also shows the influences of the songwriting. Our band is a positive band and we try to write songs that are uplifting. We also have a very big storytelling side which comes through on the songs ‘Ghost of Floyd Collins’ and ‘Reverend Wrinkle.’”
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.”
In 2011, their latest album ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ was released. Once again, it graced the US Top 30 and made in-roads to the Top 20 in the UK.
The Ironworks and the north rock fraternity are in for a treat when the boys come to town. Already a sell out, there is sure to be a lot of hair, sweat, denim and leather on show on the 23rd of March. Rock on!
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