Black Stone Cherry
-Review by Cassie Hughes
Any modern day performer you listen to will be influenced by someone. True uniqueness is rare. It’s cold hard fact, and while a lot of classic rock fans would have you believe that more recent bands are simply ripping of the older generation’s music, it’s inevitable.
It is also inevitable that performers will often cover their favourite artists or songs in the highest form of flattery. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. Black Stone Cherry are the former. In fact, we could go so far to say as they have set the bar with their Back to Blues album.
Combining their signature crunching guitar riffs and intense percussion with blues music is nothing short of utopia. The late, great, Elvis Presley once said that rock and roll is “…basically, rhythm and blues, and gospel music.” His interpretation of those signature Memphis sounds laid the foundation for modern rock; the proliferation of rock and roll in the fifties and sixties, leading to rock bands and in turn, the development of the many rock genres we are familiar with today.
I bring this up simply to remind us that a rock/metal act doing a blues album is not only a good idea, but it’s a freaking EPIC idea; a well thought out choice for this well-established band.
Chris, Ben, John and John Fred have been on the scene long enough to know exactly what their fans want to hear from them and they deliver a mash up of rock, metal and blues to their fans that for this listener, simply cannot be matched. Chris’s soulful voice imparting husky waves of melodic eloquence is bolstered by the arrangement of the instruments (as well as a few additional key players in this recording). The tracks themselves are really brilliant choices exposing the rawest form of BSC to their listeners, and using the music of Muddy Waters, Freddie King and Willie Dixon, really showcases their knowledge of the genre.
This is a six track EP, so it won’t take you long to give it a try and then become completely immersed in it. But if you only have time to listen to one or two songs before being convinced, I challenge you to refute the greatness of this EP after listening to Hoochie Coochie Man or Built For Speed. Oh, or Champagne and Reefer.
In fact, MAKE the time to listen to this. If you enjoyed earlier BSC albums with their heavy blues undertones then this is something you MUST listen to. And if you are a new fan, you need to listen to this based on pure primal pleasure.
I do not claim to know much about blues, but after hearing that growling vocal and sexy guitar? I sure do want to know more.