Blackberry Smoke fire up The Paramount Huntington, NY 8-7-14

blackberry slide - Blackberry Smoke fire up The Paramount Huntington, NY 8-7-14

Blackberry Smoke fire up The Paramount Huntington, NY 8-7-14

Atlanta, GA based, Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke are one of the hardest working bands in the business.  Together since 2000, the band has been known to spend more than 90% of each year on the road playing shows and spreading the word of gritty rock-n-roll.  Comprised of Charlie Starr (lead vocals, guitar), Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals), and Brandon Still (keyboards), their hard work has paid off in dividends as they have built a strong passionate following.  Recently completing a successful The Fire in the Hole Tour in April, the band has kept busy all summer long touring around the USA as they support their brand new live album  Leave a Scar, Live: North Carolina.  Looking to get the weekend started earlier, Blackberry Smoke made a stop at The Paramount in Huntington, NY Thursday August 7th with Sonia Leigh for a night of sizzling country rock.

Out of Nashville, TN, Country singer-songwriter Leigh started the night with a bang.  Having been actively writing, recording, and touring for the better part of sixteen years, Leigh has made a name for herself having played with such acts as The Zac Brown Band and Brantley Gilbert. Considered by many one of the hottest artist out of the Nashville scene, with considerable airplay on SiriusXM, she performed a set that had everyone bopping their head. Leigh got a massive positive response, especially when playing her single “Put it in your Pocket”.  Singing strongly and coasting through the performance like a seasoned professional, Leigh closed out with a great cover of Eagles “Take it to the Limit”. Leigh is definitely an act worth checking out.

Packing the floor of The Paramount, many fans were overheard saying this was their fifth and sixth time seeing Blackberry Smoke, and it was clear they cannot get enough.  Sage burned slowly on the stage before the band began, filling the venue with smoke and setting a calm, relaxing mood.  Emerging one by one with a massive backdrop bearing the band’s name, the audience cheered as the grooving of guitars began.  With Starr on lead vocals and Turner and Jackson providing background, the warm harmonic sounds filled the air as they played songs like “Pretty Little Lies” and “Fire in the Hole”.  Making everyone feel comfortable and right at home, the band spoke considerably to the audience and interacted while blasting out tunes as well.  This retro rock-n-roll styling had everyone completely in tune with each note and the keys of Still really pushed the jams to the limit.

Continuing along, they even mixed in a few minutes of The Allman Brothers “Midnight Rider” which had everyone screaming in excitement.  Their soulful delivery went right into “Sleeping Dogs” were keys and guitars entwined and all that could be heard was a sigh of oh yea from the back mezzanine to the front of the stage.  Keeping the show moving along, Blackberry Smoke offered up more great tunes including many from their 2012 The Whippoorwill album.  Starr’s voice continued to shine bright all set long and so did the rest of the band on their respected instruments.  On top of their tight sound they all had great rapport on stage joking around with one another as well as the fans.

As the evening came to an end, the band received a ruckus of cheers and justifiably so with the performance they put on.  They honor the history of classic rock while bringing those sounds into the new millennium for fans of all ages to enjoy. Blackberry Smoke are what Southern Rock is all about, and in order to understand that, one must experience them live.

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