For well over the past decade Blackberry Smoke has been bringing us their unique brand of American Southern rock/country rock and despite the bands hectic European tour Singer and Guitarist, Charlie Starr took some time out to answer a few question for AATR.
AATR: You were playing at STONE FREE – what did you think of this year’s line-up and who were you excited about seeing?
CHARLIE: It was a really great bill for its first year. We got delayed and our travel schedule only allowed us to see The Darkness and Alice Cooper, but both were phenomenal
AATR: Your album HOLDING ALL THE ROSES, released last year, is your 4th studio album – what are you proudest of in this collection of songs and what is different about this album?
CHARLIE: I’m proud of the songs and the performances on the record. I feel like everyone was at the top of their game. It’s a bigger sounding record than we’ve made before, thanks to Brendan O’Brien’s production.
AATR: Over the last 10 years you’ve played over 2000 live shows – will you be producing another live album?
CHARLIE: At some point we probably will. We’ve just finished a new studio album, which will be released later this year. Can’t say too much about it just yet though!
AATR: Given your bluesy / country / rock roots, where does music ‘live’ for you? In the performance of a live show? Or in the ear of the listener to an album?
CHARLIE: Both. They’re two completely different animals.
AATR: Because of your recent increased success – congratulations! – you were able to put more resources into the production of HOLDING ALL THE ROSES than previous records – how did this inspire you / change the sound / how did you make use of this where you didn’t have it before?
CHARLIE: Working with a producer like Brendan O’Brien was very inspiring. That didn’t change the sound, it just expanded on it.
AATR: Rolling Stone Magazine has recently described you as “Leading the charge of country’s southern rock resurgence” – would you agree? What is that resurgence down to?
CHARLIE: All I know is we just play the music that we know and love. It’s really as simple as that.
AATR: And finally, during one of the most divisive US Presidential elections, is music more relevant than ever, or do you feel it has no place in voicing political issues and concerns?
CHARLIE: I’m not comfortable including political views and opinions in my songs. Some people are really good at it, and if that floats their boat…so be it, but it’s not for me.
Many thanks to Charlie for taking his time to speak with AATR and I have no doubt we’ll continue to hear great things coming from this band in the future.
Holding All the Roses is currently out now on Rounder Records.
Feature image credit: Ross Halfin