BLACK STONE CHERRY – BLACK TO BLUES (EP)
Release date: 29 September 2017
Label: Mascot Records
- Built For Comfort
- Champagne & Reefer
- Palace Of The King
- Hoochie Coochie Man
- Born Under A Bad Sign
- I Want To Be Loved
Please, please allow me one self-indulgent moment of gleeful exclamation intended to mirror my first reaction to this collection, namely DAMN Y’ALL. If you treat yourself to only one EP this decade, make it a true gift and make it this treasure trove of blues infused celebration.
Now we at Silver Tiger Media are fierce supporters of this tremendous band, both as musicians and representatives of everything fine inside the Kentucky state lines. Finer people are difficult to find, but perhaps it’s that very nature that spawns such a magnificent homage to their blues infused rock heritage as represented on this collection. Everyone who has seen Black Stone Cherry will be acutely aware of how the group, and as individual musicians, honour those who came before and paved the road of heavy rock with the magnificent and timeless qualities of the blues. My gleeful consideration while spinning this disc for the 17th time (yes, once is nowhere near enough) is how this celebration of musical heritage WILL bring about a rebirth for younger generations to explore the splendiferous deoxyribonucleic acidic entwinement of blues into modern music. That very inheritance of blues brilliance that makes all that follow possible, from embryonic conception to mass celebration. Yes, to me at least, the relationship is that deep. And this EP provides you with the map to explore the lineage courtesy of Black Stone Cherry.
The individual performances are nothing short of brilliant. Simply brilliant. Jon Lawhon’s bass work provide the all-important adhesive of rhythm that allows this work to come together so magnificently. No I may be wrong, however my guess is that this project is Chris Robertson’s baby. The recording that has been struggling for release from his very being. A pressure release for the blues that ooze through his every vein and pore. And we who have seen, know exactly what has been entwined through five brilliant albums from our fedora clad favourite. I can’t help but smile fondly knowing that this band, nay brotherhood, have decided to let the blues out of the bag and support a recording rich in historic ambience and really enjoy Chris let off the leash.
One can truly experience the influence that the Texas Tornado, Freddie Kind has had on the array of stunning creations from BSC along with other legends such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Albert King. And Chris has delivered what he feels in his soul and managed to make manifest in recording. Brilliantly delivered with all the honour one could possible impart, whilst smacking each track with that black Stone Cherry magic we all know and love.
I can just picture John Fred Young with eyes closed feeling every drum beat way down inside and occasionally, his inner animal bursts loose to deliver that power percussive punch that is his signature style. And who the hell managed to tie Ben Wells to something solid to help prevent the airborne acrobatics typical of his soaring guitar delivery. Really. Look at the crowd watching Ben perform live and you’ll swear you were at an air show. Just incredible. But as brilliant as these musicians are live and over the last five BSC albums, on this EP the lads are disciplined and restrained, evidently with one sole goal at the fore, namely, pay homage to those who shaped contemporary rock.
Built For Comfort stamps the bands skill and unity from the beginning, thumping you into the grove and rendering you helpless to keep your body still. You can try all you like, but stop the head nodding and the toes tap in musical defiance. Bring them to a halt and your hips start the sway. Fuck it. Get involved.
Champagne And Reefer is utterly amazing as you embark upon a blues classic, redefined, but in brilliant form. If there was ever a track that could be described as ‘a roller-coaster taking the listener on a slipping, sliding ride from guitar to drum to bass to guitar, feeling every twist and turn’ then this is it. Just amazing. As is Palace Of The King and by this stage, you are left wondering if anyone else could have possibly created this collection so very well. But that is the very essence of this recording. It’s a genuine representation of what the band members feel when performing their craft and the heritage that enriches their creations. Hoochie Coochie Man, Born Under A Bad Sign and I Want To Be Loved are provided for our bliss in the very same vein, with the masters creations oozing from your speakers with re-imagined enrichment.
This is something very indeed and leaves the listener truly energised for the next Black Stone Cherry offering which will surely enshrine more of this superb and reverent deference, carrying the blues to willing young ears.
Just amazing and please refer to line two of this report. Might as well go back to the start because that is exactly what you’ll do every time the EP ends.