More southern rock for you, this time from Atlanta, Georgia are Blackberry Smoke. From their inception 15 years ago they have gone about success from the ground up, playing more than 250 shows a year and steadily building a fan base. This marks their first time out at Download, as they are finally getting some much deserved attention – with new album “Holding All The Roses” breaching the UK top 20.
The Atlantan quintet enlivened Sunday and it’s morose weather at 2.55pm, with their concise set primarily based on third album ‘The Whippoorwill’. So expect all the well-worn lyrical clichés about drinking, gals and family all wrapped around a delightfully fuzzy southern rock sound with hints of folk, gospel and bluegrass thrown in. With the rock swagger of ‘Six Ways to Sunday’ and the epic ballad ‘Pretty Little Lie’, both from their third recording, depicting the varying emotions that brauds elicit. Everyone involved was having a whale of a time, none more so than the guitarist Paul Jackson whose grin stretched from ear to ear. My personal favourites were the jivey rock of ‘Let Me Help You (Find the Door)’ and the small town ditty ‘One Horse Town’ – leaving me grinning like a Cheshire cat.
Their sudden ascension into the wider musical consciousness continued with them showering the crowd in the best the south has to offer. Contrasting nicely with the sober sound of preceding act Tremonti, and an excellent taster of the classic rock Sunday that was to come.
Photo Credit: Justine Trickett/Download 2015