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      Blackberry Smoke with Drake White in Chattanooga

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      November 29, 2012

      Thursday   9:00 PM

      1400 Market St
      Chattanooga, Tennessee 37408

      Blackberry Smoke with Drake White

      November 29
      Doors: 8:00pm
      Show: 9:00pm


      • Drake White

      $15 Advance / $17 Day of Show
      18+, Valid ID Required

      You can call Blackberry Smoke’s music southern rock and you wouldn’t be wrong. Or you could call it country and you wouldn’t be wrong, either. But you would be selling both the band and its legion of fans short by trying to fit them solely into one genre. With influences that run the gamut from country to bluegrass to metal to gospel and yes, southern rock, Blackberry Smoke is more than the sum of its diverse parts.

      “None of us have ever said, ‘Let’s be a southern rock band or a bluegrass band or a country band’,” Blackberry Smoke front man Charlie Starr explains. “We all love the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Stones and the Faces and Hank Williams and Bill Monroe. It’s not about what kind of music it is, as long as it’s good and it’s honest. When we get together it just sounds the way it does.”

      The group, which is made up of Starr, sibling rhythm section Richard and Brit Turner (bass and drums, respectively) and guitarist Paul Jackson, formed in 2000 and quickly made an impact. Thanks to individual and shared reputations for entertaining, the foursome hit the road hard. “We had gigs right away,” says Richard, who with Brit had been in a popular Atlanta band that opened for national touring acts.

      One of the fledgling group’s early supporters was Jesse James Dupree of Jackyl, who invited the group to tour with his band. “He’d heard a demo and thought it was fantastic,” remembers Charlie. “It was trial by fire. We played every scary dive between here and there… and a few real nice ones, too. From that tour we made relationships with club owners, promoters and DJs that we still have today,” says Charlie.

      Touring soon became a way of life for the band. Among the many acts the group has shared the stage with are ZZ Top, Montgomery Gentry, The Outlaws, Marshall Tucker Band and Cross Canadian Ragweed.

      While the group has deep southern roots—Starr is from Alabama, the Turners are from Georgia and Jackson hails from Florida—it first found success north of the Mason Dixon line. “We got big in Wisconsin and Michigan and worked our way back to Georgia,” Brit says with a smile.

      Not only did the band mesh when it came to touring, they also clicked when it came to musical aspirations. “We had an unspoken vision of what the band should sound like,” Charlie says. Paul agrees, “Everybody brings something to the table.”

      The group found inspiration in some of the greatest bands of all time. “The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin would make records with great rockin’ songs and also some honky tonk country and blues,” explains Charlie. As such, diversity is important to Blackberry Smoke. “It makes it more enjoyable for the listener than staying in a little narrow hallway,” Brit says. “And for the players, too.”

      Good music is good music, the band believes, no matter the style. “There are moments in our show that are straight out of a Jimmy Martin or Flatt & Scruggs set list,” Charlie says. “Bluegrass is a beautiful form of American music. Just like southern rock, bluegrass is about really good songs and good musicianship,” he adds. “You just spread out and see where it will go.”

      The quartet, which has built an international following thanks to the Internet and a universal love for good music, self-released its debut, Bad Luck Ain’t No Crime, which was produced by Dupree, in 2004. A few years later, they followed up with the country-centric EP New Honky Tonk Bootlegs.

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