Overall Score: 9.5/10 musicianship: 9/10 ability to smell the whiskey through the songs: 9/10 Wishing you could play this well: 10/10 Pros: Rabble rousing collection of blues by one of rock's great contempary bands Cons: nothing
Black Stone Cherry are known for their deep south brand of rock n roll and so it was no surprise that 2 years ago they dropped a recording of pure blues covers, however, it was an absolute delight to hear that they have just released a follow up 6 tracks, dubbed Back to Blues 2.
To be honest, I hadn’t heard a single track on this EP before, but each one is a sublime choice and the opening track Big Legged Woman, originally by Freddie King, sets the groove for what you’re about to hear and swags its way into your ears causing your head to emulate a pigeon for most of it. As an added treat the band have roped in Yates McKendree to play the organ, which adds a whole new depth to the usual Black Stone Cherry sound you’re used to and as they boss through Robert Johnsons’ Me and the Devil Blues, it’s suddenly apparent how easily this could just be an EP of BSC material, so effortlessly the band perform.
Chris Robertson’s voice on this weekend is comparable to a bar of Galaxy chocolate when you just got dumped and John Fred Young’s work on the kit carries the entire band from start to finish like a TomTom that’s actually got signal.
By the time Early One Morning erupts from the speakers all tempo changes and slide guitar there isn’t anyone not reaching for a guitar to go sit on the front porch to 12 bar the rest of the day.
The disappointing feeling that 6th track Death Letter Blues is the last one is then appeased by the realisation that any more than 6 tracks might lose the impact of both the individual songs recorded here and the release as a whole. This is a perfect package wrapped up in 25 minutes and will hopefully lead to either a 3rd chapter or maybe future BSC tracks with much more of this influence plastered over them.
If you like Black Stone Cherry, if you like blues, even if you don’t actually, give this EP a whirl – it is worth at least 25 minutes of anybody’s life.