Friday Night with Guitar George: Blackberry Smoke Edition

This week’s FNWGG will be the yin to last week’s yang, the Simon to last week’s Garfunkel, the Cheech to last week’s Chong.  No pretentious allusions to classic literature, Post-Impressionist paintings, or Renaissance sculpture. Last week featured a band known by almost every person in the Western Hemisphere, and its members are in their seventies; this week’s band is still in the process of gaining widespread recognition, and its members are in their thirties. Last week’s song is one that should never be performed publicly by anyone other than the band who originally wrote and recorded it; this week’s song has been wonderfully covered by countless artists, young and old, male and female, country/bluegrass and blues/rock.  Last week’s blurb was lengthy and densely detailed; this week it will be short and sweet.

Blackberry Smoke is another in a long line of good rock bands from the Atlanta area (add Athens and Macon and the list gets longer).  They are a bluesy, dual guitar Southern rock band cut out of the Lynyrd Skynyrd mold, a comparison that has been both a blessing and a curse for Charlie Starr and his band mates: a curse because some music fans and critics have been quick to dismiss them as nothing more than Skynyrd wannabes, a blessing because the level of talent among the members of Blackberry Smoke makes the comparison entirely valid.

There are numerous videos on YouTube of BBS performing live, including some of their original songs, but I chose this particular cover for several reasons (on which I will not elaborate, because I promised to keep it short).  One small complaint, because I am kinda nit-picky about this: Paul Jackson goes on a tremendous run from 4:04 to 4:36, during which there is not one close-up shot of his hands on the guitar.  Not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things, but I am not Grand Scheme of Things George; I am GUITAR George, therefore I consider this to be an egregious error.  In spite of that, this video is nine minutes of good ol’ fashioned foot-stompin’ fun, with enough GG-worthy licks to fill a GMC pickup truck.  Grab yerself a bottle of Sweetwater, and enjoy!!

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