Kentucky rockers, Black Stone Cherry have released their sophomore effort, Folklore and Superstition. I was extremely impressed with their debut record, and I wondered if the band would try to repeat the sound of that record or change it up a bit for album #2.
The first album sounded like a cross between the Allman brothers and Metallica. The heavy nature of the first album still shows up in places on Folklore and Superstition, but this record sounds a lot different from the first disc. It isn’t so different that Black Stone Cherry fans will dislike it. In fact, some people may like this one more than the first effort. To my ears, it sounds as if, Black Stone Cherry’s sound has matured over the self titled disc.
This album opens up with the rocking tune, “Blind Man” (see video below). This song is a great opener and does a good job bridging Black Stone Cherry’s last album with Folklore & Superstition.
Some Led Zeppelinish guitar sounds find their way into “Please Come In”. This hit ready song is no Zeppelin rip off though. This is great stuff.
Black Stone Cherry jams out on “Revered Wrinkle”. With so many bands forgetting how to play guitar solos in 2008, BSC shows them how to do it.
“Soulcreek” is the type of sing along anthem that will likely become a staple of Black Stone Cherry’s live show. This is a fun tune, and one of my new favorites.
For the first time ever, Black Stone Cherry breaks out the piano on “Things My Father Said”. If any song on this album could hit the mainstream, this is the one. This tune could easily cross over onto pop and rock radio formats.
For whatever reason the backup vocals on the heavy rockier “The Bitter End” gives the song a disjointed feel to it. I think this song would have been a lot better without them. I love the music, and the lyrics, but the back up vocals mess this tune up.
At The beginning of “Long Sleeves” I picked up on a slight Aerosmith groove similar to their cover of the Beatles “Come Together”. I thought the voice coder in the middle of the song was a nice touch. This is a pretty cool tune for the most part, although I am sure some fans will start picking on Black Stone Cherry’s song writing. One of the core lyrics in this song is “My Momma Always Said to wear Long Sleeves”. After the previous song, “Things My Father Said”, this may be a bit much for some folks. It works for me. I think its cool.
“Peace is Free” is quite possibly the most southern rock styled tune on Folklore and Superstition. I can imagine the lighters and cell phones coming out in a live setting for this low tempo number.
Do I detect a little Lynyrd Skynyrd in “Devil’s Queen”? You may not hear it, but I sure do. This song has a fat guitar sound that is awesome. This is one of my favorite songs on the the disc. You have to hear the guitar work on this song. Great Stuff!
“The Key” is one of the more interesting songs on this disc. It is one of the heavier tracks. About midway through, you will find some interesting guitar sounds. I wouldn’t call this tune essential, but it is somewhat unique.
“You” is one of those songs that has grown on me with repeated listens. This song dives into the southern rock pool once again. “You” has a good classic rock sound that seems radio ready.
“Sunrise” has a very modern rock tone to it, which may help it find its way to radio. This song feels like a filler tune to me, and is my least favorite on the album.
“Ghost of Floyd Collins” is a cool tune about a Kentucky cave explorer Floyd Collins who died as a result of being trapped in a cavern 50 feet below the ground. He was exploring the cave trying to find a new entrance for the Crystal Cave system back in 1925. This is a pretty cool homage to a person who is from the area where the members of Black Stone Cherry grew up.
As a whole, Folklore and Superstition is no sophomore slump for Black Stone Cherry. The band has turned out another very good album. I don’t think this album is as instantly accessible as their first disc. This album isn’t as heavy as the first one, and the tempo seems to have been turned down on the songs somewhat. Folklore and Superstition does have a bunch of good tunes, and a few that are growers. If you prefer to buy your music electronically, I-Tunes has three bonus tracks, “Junkman”, “Stranger” and “Bulldozer”. The big box retailers have this disc on sale for $9.99 this week (8/19 – 8/23).
Rating:Out of 10
1. Blind Man
2. Please Come In
3. Reverend Wrinkle
5. Things My Father Said
6. The Bitter End
7. Long Sleeves
8. Peace is Free
9. Devil’s Queen
10. The Key
13. Ghost of Floyd Collins
Black Stone Cherry is:
Chris Robertson – Vocals and Guitar
Jon Lawhon – Bass
Ben Wills – Guitar
John Fred Young – Drums
Black Stone Cherry is quite simply at the top of my list for best new band in 2006. I discovered these guys only because I saw they were opening for Black Label Society. I found their website, listened to two songs and went out and bought the CD immediately.
The only way I can describe these Kentucky rockers is a cross between Skynyrd and Metallica. They are definitely harder and faster than Skynyrd for those that are wondering.
There are so many great tracks on this CD, I don’t even know where to begin.
My favorites change from day to day, but currently, they are Lonely Train, Violator Girl and Hell or High Water.
This is head banging, heavy southern rock! This CD is so damn good, you need to sign off the net now and get to your local CD shop and pick this up!
Rating: Out of 10
- Rain Wizard
- Backwoods Gold*
- Lonely Train*
- Maybe Someday*
- When the Weight Comes Down*
- Crosstown Woman
- Shooting Star
- Hell and High Water
- Shapes of Things
- Violator Girl*
- Tired of the Rain
- Rollin On
Black Stone Cherry is:
Chris Robertson – (vocals/guitar)
Ben Wells – (guitar/vocals)
Jon Lawhon – (bass/vocals)
John Fred Young – (drums/vocals)