Archive for May, 2014
Black Stone Cherry
Produced by: Joe Barresi www.BlackStoneCherry.com
Much like they did when they first formed in 2001, Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry has recorded an album that essentially reiterates their stylistic roots as a band. Hard. Southern. Rock-n-roll. Maybe in that order, and maybe their best recorded effort ever. Considering they are probably Southern Rock’s unofficial-official torch-bearers.
However, somewhat unlike their youthful formative elementary days, Magic Mountain’s topics are a bit more college’y, highlighted by moments of verbal sultry bluntness more so than their previous three releases. Perhaps so blatantly, that we can go ahead and officially add “stoner-rock” to their growing list of genre identifiers.
The opening track, “Holding On To Letting Go,” sets a fast pace that rarely slows down throughout the album. Between the first single, “Me and Mary Jane,” or other tunes like “Peace Pipe” or the album’s title cut, there are enough marijuana-friendly references for this recording collection to be a modern day Cheech and Chong movie soundtrack. Where C&C go to Kentucky. Theoretically.
Of course, a Black Stone(d) Cherry album is never really complete until, in prideful anthemic-fashion, there’s a song which glorifies their home state of Kentucky. A place they’re not ashamed from being. The tune this time is “Hollywood In Kentucky” where the guys proclaim that “KFC would still be Kentucky Fried Chicken” and where “you get your ass kicked if you talk about my mother.”
And that song closes out with an instrumental guitar-fueled bluegrass’ish jam session.
Key Tracks: “Me and Mary Jane” “Dance Girl” “Fiesta Del Fuego” “Hollywood In Kentucky”
This review also published at PerformerMag.com and in Performer Magazine’s July 2014 issue.
No, my fingers didn’t get chopped off. Nor did any other of my body parts. I’m not dead, either. Not yet. Bummer, right? It usually takes something happening out of Kentucky, musically, that actually leaves the state’s borders, to bring me out of my so-called editorial hibernation.
I’ve been following these young Southern Kentucky lads, Black Stone(d) Cherry, since they were 16 years old. I think Ben and John Fred were still sophomore’s in high school when I first met them in Jillian’s Louisville (now Diamonds Pub). How’d they get into a bar at 16, you may ask? Well, when your father is Richard Young, founding member and guitarist of the Kentucky Headhunters, they just kinda get to go where they damn well please in Kentucky’s live music venues. And as history would have it, I would be lucky enough to be invited down to their Edmonton-based practice house, and be the first published journalist to interview and write about them.
So, that said, the bad boys from Southern Kentucky, who literally are Southern Rock’s torch-bearers, are back, and they’re dropping their new album, Magic Mountain, May 6th via Roadrunner Records.
Black Stone Cherry commented on the making of Magic Mountain, stating, “Not since before our first album have we felt the freedom and confidence that we felt while writing and recording this album. After touring the world behind three previous albums that we are extremely proud of, we feel this album best captures the live energy, honesty and vibe that encompasses our true musicianship.”
Without going into to much detail, I’ll confirm this. For those few of you who have a copy of Rock-n-Roll Tape, their first studio demo from 2001, think that kind of musical rawness, mixed with their modern-era rhythmic hooks, typical dirty guitars, and now throw in a little social support for the nation’s green movement, and you’ve got Magic Mountain.
Yes, I’ve had a copy of it for a little while now, and yes, I’ll publish my random rhetoric and review of it at PerformerMag.com. And for some odd reason it’ll appear in Performer Magazine’s July 2014 issue. My Editor must be nuts…just like me. And like Black Stone(d) Cherry too I suppose…