Respect for one’s elders is the main theme of Black Stone Cherry’s latest E.P. “Black to Blues”. In a world of lazy cover’s and half assed tributes Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry crafts an blues tribute dripping with soul that should not be overlooked. Astatine Music tends to focus on the hard rock/heavy metal side of music but when a blues album is delivered with so much punch we feel the need to talk about this. The E.P. out last Friday is 6 songs that represent an almost forgotten era of music by some people. BSC is not about to let you forget where we came from. Whether you are a metal fan, rock fan, hip hop fan, it all came to us because of the blues they are singing on Black to Blues. America’s (minus Native people) only unique contribution to the world has evolved into so much more than it’s early inception in a cotton field down south. It has spawned all types of music that we love today. The boys from Kentucky are trying to make sure we don’t forget our roots, because they have not.
The opening track “Built for Comfort” released through social media almost a month ago was originally written by the great Willie Dixon. It tells of a man that “ain’t fat” but rather “build for comfort”. In their version, (there is many) the only thing BSC updates is the equipment they play on. They leave the soul of the original in tact as they totally eviserate the way you think the blues should sound. BSC is one of the heaviest bands on the planet. Heavy in terms of the feel, and groove they play. You don’t have to play metal to be heavy. Listen to this track of a rock band playing a blues song and tell me it ain’t heavy. Chris, Jon, Ben and John Fred totally nail the opening track to an album that celebrate their love for the blues and respect for what came before them.
As the E.P. continues you will find more gems such as the Muddy Water classic “Champagne and Reefer” which is less about the title words as it is about the freedoms a man loves. Have a drink when he wants, a smoke when he wants and love from a great woman. “Palace of the King” co written Don Nix, Donald Dunn and Leon Russell and performed by Freddy King tells the story that Black Stone Cherry can relate to all too well. Being all over the world but loving home and all things associated with it. A real “I’ve seen it all but love my home” type of song. In a album heavy of Willie Dixon you can;t leave out “Hoochie Coochie Man”. This again has been done with utmost respect to the original version. It just now has a Cherry on top (wink wink).
Any solid blues compilation is gonna have some very well know song that has been done a million times by a million people. Many greats have done song “Born Under a Bad Sign” both live and in the studio but this is a very fresh take on the song. Wearing the original soul of the song on their sleeves Black Stone Cherry pays homage in a delightfully heavy way. The guys add a horn section and a baritone sax making the depth of song more than just an average tribute. Chris Robertson (guitar/vox) Ben Wells (guitar) Jon Lawhon (Bass) and John Fred Young (Drums) deliver a fun version of “I want to be Loved” by Willie Dixon. Clocking in at just over two minutes it is the truest embodiment of what this album is. Pure tribute to those who came before.
Black Stone Cherry seems to be an unstoppable force in the music scene. The band recently got back from some dates in Europe and are finishing up the yet to be titled album six. If you are a blues lover, a rock fan, a metal guy or just want to hear some great songs redone get yourself a cop of “Black to Blues” and hear it for yourself. Blues has always been a weak spot for us here at Astatine Music. Again being predominantly a metal publication we don’t usually tend to focus so much on the blues. That is until we hear some like this. Go get your copy today. Find your copy at their Website.