Blackberry Smoke Hosted Their Annual Brothers & Sisters Holiday Homecoming at the Coca-Cola Roxy in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday, November 24, 2023

The near two-hour stage show incorporated several special moments, including the Lovell sister duo joining Blackberry Smoke for a moving rendition of "Let Me Down Easy," as well as...

Words and Photos: Elliott Gordon

@PlacemarkPhoto

 

Nestled in the shadow of Truist Park (home to the Atlanta Braves), the Coca-Cola Roxy played host to local Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke on a crisp but comfortable Friday evening. Opened as recently as 2017, this venue is a cornerstone destination within The Battery Atlanta, a mixed-used development of restaurants and condominiums adjacent to the ballpark, located approximately 10 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta. Playing a holiday show in their backyard the day after Thanksgiving has become a Blackberry Smoke tradition going back a decade, with this year’s performance supported by the Grammy-nominated Larkin Poe.

Nothing can cure a Thanksgiving food coma better than live music, and a giant serving of Larkin Poe was the perfect recipe to feed the early audience. Anchored by Georgia-raised sisters Rebecca (vocals, guitar) and Megan Lovell (vocals, lap steel), Larkin Poe kicked off Friday night with “Summertime Sunset,” a track off their latest release, Blood Harmony (2022).

With an infectious stage presence and an upbeat tone rooted in classic ’70s Southern rock and blues influences, Larkin Poe delivered a lively and soulful 10-song set, including tunes like “Bad Spell” and “She’s a Self Made Man.” While half their performance did highlight tracks pulled from Blood Harmony, I was glad they dug down into their catalog for the enjoyably poppy, hand-clapping “Blue Ridge Mountains” off their 2018 release, Venom & Faith. Larkin Poe may be based in Nashville now, but Georgians will always consider them one of our own, and they were the perfect band to warm up the Coca-Cola Roxy crowd.

Following the equipment turn and with a near capacity crowd in place, Blackberry Smoke took to the stage and broke into “You Hear Georgia” shortly before 9:15pm to the screaming adulation of the hometown crowd. Anchored by Charlie Starr (lead vocals, guitar) in the center, Blackberry Smoke continues to be rounded out by Richard Turner (bass), Paul Jackson and Benji Shanks on guitar, percussionist Preston Holcomb, Brandon Still (keyboards), Brit Turner (drums), along with background singers Sherie and Sherita Murphy of The Black Bettys.

What’s wonderful about attending Blackberry Smoke shows is that no two performances are the same, as the band draws upon a 20-year-plus catalog of music to craft a setlist that highlights their unique bluesy and country rock sound. However, Friday night was also a celebration of the band’s much anticipated new album produced by the Grammy Award-winning Dave Cobb, Be Right Here, which is scheduled to be released in a few months on February 16. Prior to playing “Hammer And The Nail” from the forthcoming release, Starr joked “you probably don’t know the words to this song now, but you will soon,” which was followed shortly thereafter by Lana Turner (Brit’s daughter) joining the band to sing along with “Little Bit Crazy,” a track also recently unveiled from Be Right Here.

The near two-hour stage show incorporated several special moments, including the Lovell sister duo joining Blackberry Smoke for a moving rendition of “Let Me Down Easy,” as well as Christian Gray (Starr’s son) and Spencer Jackson (Paul’s son) coming out to perform the tune “Morningside” with the band. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was during the encore cover performance of “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty when Larkin Poe, along with guitarist Tyler Bryant (Rebecca Lovell’s husband), delighted the crowd. Blackberry Smoke capped off the festive night with the ever-popular “Ain’t Much Left of Me,” from their 2012 album, The Whippoorwill.

Blackberry Smoke will hit the road across the United States in support of Be Right Here starting on February 15, 2024, at the Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, North Carolina.

 

https://www.larkinpoe.com/

Larkin Poe – Setlist

1. Summertime Sunset

2. Jessica (The Allman Brothers Band cover)

3. Kick the Blues

4. Georgia Off My Mind

5. Preachin’ Blues (Son House cover)

6. She’s a Self Made Man

7. Blue Ridge Mountains

8. Bad Spell

9. Wanted Woman – AC/DC

10. Bolt Cutters & The Family Name

Larkin Poe

Rebecca Lovell – Lead vocals, guitar

Megan Lovell – harmony vocals, lap steel, dobro

Brent “Tarka” Layman – Bass

Ben Satterlee – Drums

Blackberry Smoke – Upcoming Dates:

Dec 29, 2023 – The Berglund Center – Roanoke, VA

Dec 30, 2023 – Anderson Music Hall – Hiawassee, GA

Dec 31, 2023 – Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium – Spartanburg, SC

Feb 4, 2024 – Feb 10, 2024 – Outlaw Country Cruise – Miami, FL

Blackberry Smoke – Be Right Here Tour 2024 Dates:

Feb 15, 2024 – Durham Performing Arts Center – Durham, NC

Feb 16, 2024 – Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort – Cherokee, NC

Feb 17, 2024 – House of Blues Myrtle Beach – North Myrtle Beach, SC

Feb 18, 2024 – Ovens Auditorium – Charlotte, NC

Feb 20, 2024 – The Jefferson Theater – Charlottesville, VA

Feb 22, 2024 – Murat Theatre at Old National Centre – Indianapolis, IN

Feb 23, 2024 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH

Feb 29, 2024 – The Hall – Little Rock, AR

Mar 1, 2024 – TempleLive – Fort Smith, AR

Mar 2, 2024 – Gillioz Theatre – Springfield, MO

Mar 7, 2024 – Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO

Mar 8, 2024 – Vilar Performing Arts Center – Beaver Creek, CO

Mar 9, 2024 – Uptown Theater – Kansas City, MO

Mar 15, 2024 – Medina Entertainment Center – Medina, MN

Mar 19, 2024 – Roxian Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA

Mar 21, 2024 – House of Blues Boston – Boston, MA

Mar 22, 2024 – The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY

Mar 23, 2024 – State Theatre New Jersey – New Brunswick, NJ

Mar 24, 2024 – Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts – Patchogue, NY

Mar 27, 2024 – Warner Theatre – Washington, DC

Mar 28, 2024 – American Music Theatre – Lancaster, PA

Mar 29, 2024 – TempleLive at Cleveland Masonic – Cleveland, OH

Mar 30, 2024 – Keswick Theatre – Glenside, PA

Apr 11, 2024 – Alliant Energy Powerhouse – Cedar Rapids, IA (supporting Cody Jinks)

Apr 12, 2024 – The Pageant – St Louis, MO

Apr 13, 2024 – Wings Event Center – Kalamazoo, MI (supporting Cody Jinks)

Apr 26, 2024 – Floore’s Country Store – Helotes, TX

Apr 27, 2024 – Event Center at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel – Baton Rouge, LA

May 4, 2024 – Sun, Sand and Soul Beach Weekend – Miramar Beach, FL

May 9, 2024 – 713 Music Hall – Houston, TX

May 10, 2024 – First Council Casino – Newkirk, OK

May 25, 2024 – Beaver Dam Amphitheater – Beaver Dam, KY

Jun 1, 2024 – The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park – San Diego, CA (supporting Cody Jinks)

Jun 2, 2024 – Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA (supporting Cody Jinks)

Jun 21, 2024 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN

Jun 22, 2024 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN

Jun 29, 2024 – Rock, Ribs & Ridges Festival – Augusta, NJ

Jul 18, 2024 – CMAC – Canandaigua, NY (supporting Cody Jinks)

Sep 9, 2024 – O2 Academy Glasgow – Glasgow, UK

Sep 10, 2024 – O2 Academy Edinburgh – Edinburgh, Scotland

Sep 12, 2024 – O2 Apollo Manchester – Manchester, UK

Sep 13, 2024 – O2 Academy Birmingham – Birmingham, UK

Sep 14, 2024 – Eventim Apollo – London, United Kingdom

Sep 16, 2024 – Ancienne Belgique – Brussels, Belgium

Sep 17, 2024 – 013 Poppodium – Tilburg, Netherlands

Sep 18, 2024 – Capitol Hannover – Hanover, Germany

Sep 20, 2024 – Vega – Copenhagen, Denmark

Sep 21, 2024 – Sentrum Scene – Oslo, Norway

Sep 22, 2024 – Annexet – Stockholm, Sweden

Sep 24, 2024 – Columbiahalle – Berlin, Germany

Sep 25, 2024 – Gasometer – Vienna, Austria

Sep 26, 2024 – TonHalle München – Munich, Germany

Sep 28, 2024 – L’Olympia – Paris, France

Sep 29, 2024 – E-Werk – Cologne, Germany

Sep 30, 2024 – Kaufleuten – Zürich, Switzerland

Oct 2, 2024 – Alcatraz – Milan, Italy

Blackberry Smoke – Setlist

1. You Hear Georgia

2. Live It Down

3. Good One Comin’ On

4. Like I Am

5. Pretty Little Lie

6. Hey Delilah

7. Sleeping Dogs

8. Hammer And The Nail

9. Let Me Down Easy (with Larkin Poe)

10. Everybody Knows She’s Mine

11. Ain’t the Same

12. Little Bit Crazy (with Lana Turner)

13. Waiting for the Thunder

14. The Whippoorwill

15. Ain’t Got the Blues

16. Morningside (with Christian Gray & Spencer Jackson)

17. Run Away From It All

18. Dig A Hole

19. One Horse Town

20. Old Scarecrow

Encore

21. I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty cover – with Larkin Poe and Tyler Bryant)

22. Ain’t Much Left of Me

Blackberry Smoke

Charlie Starr – Lead Vocals, Guitar

Richard Turner – Bass, Backing Vocals

Brit Turner – Drums

Paul Jackson – Guitar, Backing Vocals

Brandon Still – Keyboards

Benji Shanks – Guitar

Preston Holcomb – Percussion

https://www.blackberrysmoke.com/

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