April 16, 2018 Black Stone Cherry – Family Tree (Album Review)
A crew who lives to rock hard, the badass Southern Hard Rock quartet known as Black Stone Cherry – Chris Robertson (vocals/guitar), Ben Wells (guitar), Jon Lawhon (bass), and John Fred Young (drums) – are fired up for the release of their sixth studio album, Family Tree, arriving on Friday, April 20, 2018 via Mascot Records. A blue collar band, Family Tree marks Black Stone Cherry’s third release in 2 years, following up the band’s 2016 chart-topping studio album, Kentucky, and the Blues cover EP, Black to Blues, released September of 2017. So does the creativity continue to flow for the Kentucky breed Rock band?
Pouring heart and soul into every note and lyric, Black Stone Cherry have always taken pride in bringing the spark of true Rock-n-Roll to the people who matter most, the fans. From early on, Black Stone Cherry paved a strong path to success dishing out critically acclaimed and chart-topping albums starting with their 2006 debut, Black Stone Cherry, and borne a trend of hit albums from 2008’s Folklore and Superstition right on through Kentucky. On the grand stage, Black Stone Cherry cut their teeth touring alongside a range of top acts from Nickelback to Halestorm and headlined The Download Festival. That said, Black Stone Cherry are now regarded as a must see on the concert circuit where the band entices audiences all over the world.
Poised to never stop rockin’ as a brotherhood, Black Stone Cherry look to further conquer music by enlisting the creativity of each band member who show off their individual musical influences on Family Tree. Hustling to feed the appetite’s of hungry Rock patrons, in the same breath, Black Stone Cherry took a more laid back approach to the recording process for Family Tree. Rather than spending day and night rehearsing, Black Stone Cherry decided to take advantage of the urgency and spontaneous energy that goes along with an in-the-moment take, this method resulted in the thirteen super-charged tracks which make up Family Tree.
Consisting of 13 tracks, the album gets a hot start in classic Black Stone Cherry fashion with the kicking “Bad Habit” followed by the album’s first single, the groovy and hard, future strip club anthem,”Burnin’ .” “New Kinda Feelin’ ” boasts good catchy vibes before the peaceful feeling of “Carry Me On Down The Road” takes you home. Revealing in song what your child means to you with “My Last Breath” precedes the rowdy country life of “Southern Fried Friday Night.” In a special guest jam, the smooth licks of “Dancin’ In The Rain” features vocals and guitar by Allman Bros.Band/Gov’t Mule legend Warren Haynes. Next, a hooky “Ain’t Nobody” praises that unique person in your life before Black Stone Cherry get funky and blissfully revere “James Brown.”
In an even more special cameo, Robertson’s five year old son makes his Rock debut by contributing backing vocals on “You Got The Blues.” Here, Black Stone Cherry harbor over having the Blues for the first time, finding a cure, and rocking the Blues out of you. Thereafter, a self-explanatory “I Need A Woman” goes well with “Get Me Over You,” all about making bad decisions to get over a love. A fitting album closer, the title-track, “Family Tree” expresses the notion that, if you lose your way, home is where you belong.
Overall, Black Stone Cherry have done it again on Family Tree, gifting nearly an hour’s worth of brand new cuts by incarnating a special blend of loud guitar and soulful vocals. In essence, Black Stone Cherry are one of those bands who exemplify what it means to rock out and touch people through music. From Robertson’s raucous vocals, Well’s crying guitar, and a heavy foundation laid down by Lawhon and Young, Family Tree represents Black Stone Cherry at their best. For these reasons, CrypticRock gives Family Tree 4.5 out of 5 stars.