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Black Stone Cherry – ‘Family Tree’ review

Genre: Southern Rock

Label: Mascot Label Group

Release Date: Out Now 


Chris Robertson, vocals and guitar,
Ben Wells, guitar and vocals,
Jon Lawhon, bass and vocals,
John Fred Young, drums,

Track Listing:

Bad Habit
New Kinda Feelin
Carry Me On Down The Road
My Last Breath
Southern Fried Friday Night
Dancin’ In The Rain (feat. Warren Haynes)
Ain’t Nobody
James Brown
You Got The Blues
I Need A Woman
Get Me Over You
Family Tree

This, the sixth studio album from the Southern sound gods that are ‘Black Stone Cherry’, is the much anticipated follow up to the 2016 offering ‘Kentucky’.  Opting to self-produce ‘Family Tree’ has proved to be a winning decision…read on to find out why!

The opening track, ‘Bad Habit has an almost 60’/ 70’s Hendrixy type opening guitar and pumping drums and I loved the change of tempo for the guitar solo, pretty inspired!  You can almost taste the legendary musical influences on ‘Burnin’, which has the guys raising a massive salute to the 1970s staples again with this superb offering.

Moving on to ‘New Kinda Feelin’, this relishes bringing a slice of honky-tonk backdrop to a good time vibe of a bar-room boogie, ballsy track.  Whilst ‘Carry Me On Down The Road’ …brings legendary southern, western heavy rock to the modern era …. Nicely done with a nod to the 70’s deep sound, but bringing in new musical influences too.

‘My Last Breath’ opens with a Black Crowes tastily inspired keyboard and is the perfect platform for the grizzled bluesy vocals from Chris.  Beautifully crafted and full of inspiration, with harmonies that are superb.  My favourite so far …

‘Southern Fried Friday Night’ is the push you need to get your glad rags on and take a BIG swig of that moonshine and get ready for the night of your life!

‘Dancin In The Rain’ is a hip swinging of a sweet thang that we LOVE on the ears …and if you can hear a hint of The Allman Brothers, you aren’t wrong as the special guest on this track is Warren Haynes long time guitarist with AB. Jon Lawhon admits, hearing Warren play on this track gave him chills, and I bet it will give you a shiver down your spine too!

‘Aint Nobody’ ….A rather delicious bombardment of upbeat blues and southern slide guitar and crashing drums is the perfect prelude to ‘James Brown’ …woo woo indeed!  A fabulous nod to the greatest of show men James Brown, sooooooo hip! Swing that cape off your shoulder and sweep it onto the floor like a mofo, funky brothers!

‘You Got The Blues’ has another guest singing along, Chris’s 5 year old son!  And what a great job he does, bringing even more depth and good times to the heavy hitting groove of this track, which truly is part of the Black Stone Cherry ‘Family Tree’!

With the raunchy ‘I Need A Woman’, good time rollin ‘Get Me Over You’ and hard hitting ‘Family Tree’, ending the album, I have to say this has been a real treat for me to review.

These southern rock good time boys from Edmonton, Kentucky, have managed to bring legendary influences of Blackfoot, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Allman Brothers and other 1970s staples to the fore whilst still producing music for the modern age. ‘Family Tree’ brings a vintage, retro, old-school sound with a 2018 twist, so it never feels old fashioned.

Score: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by: Francijn Suermondt



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