Updated: Jul 5
Southern rockers and Kentucky countrymen Black Stone Cherry released their 5th studio album last April entitled, ‘Kentucky,’ and the UK has been fortunate enough to have been blessed with a few tour dates. Playing at the Brighton Dome on November 30th, fans ranging from all ages could be seen in the beautiful British architectural landmark, the spherical cap of the dome giving a natural acoustic feel to their first set. On this tour, Black Stone Cherry did not have a support band, but instead had themselves as their own opening act with the first half of the night being an all acoustic based set, they joked to the audience that, “we couldn’t think of a better support band than ourselves!”
This type of show permitted Black Stone Cherry to play some of their slower and laid back songs, as well as allowing themselves and the crowd to get warmed up before breaking out the electric guitars, cranking up the volume on the amps and busting out some harder and faster beats on the drums. The song ‘Like I Roll’ from the 2011 album, ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,’ was definitely a crowd favourite. The army of fans were easily louder than front man Chris Robertson himself as we sang ‘I roll, like I roll,’ seeing an overjoyed grin break out on Chris’ face as the crowd sang his own heartfelt lyrics back to him.
The most emotional number of the set and the night was their 3rd single off the new album, their own take on the Zuni Mountain Boys’ song, ‘The Rambler.’ A song about a travelling man that has no permanent home, it’s easy to see how the members of Black Stone Cherry could relate to it now that most of them are family men, missing their hometowns. Robertson gave a lengthy introduction of how much ‘The Rambler’ means to them, and asked us to take a moment to listen hard to the lyrics, which we did, before he continued to sing the song with his eyes closed. Black Stone Cherry put a lot of emotion into their instruments and their vocals which had an impact on the audience, giving the room a poignant and sentimental atmosphere.
Black Stone Cherry kicked off their electric set with a number off their new album, ‘Darkest Secret,’ and guitarist Ben Wells went from peacefully plucking strings on his acoustic, to tumultuously beating out chords and solos on the electric, alternating between left stage and right stage. The energy picked up instantly and the heads were banging and the Devil horns were raised to the heavens. It seemed every person in the room with a Black Stone Cherry t-shirt on knew the lyrics to each song off by heart and they were not afraid to let their voices be heard. This was most apparent when fan-favourite ‘White Trash Millionaire’ was playing, and bassist Jon Lawhon took a break from his coaxing the audience to participate, as they were more than willing to join in.
Drummer John Fred Young got the chance to show off his expert skills in his drum solo, which was effortlessly flawless to say the least. The night ended on an energetic high with the lewd, ‘Blame it on the Boom Boom,’ a lively and punchy crowd favourite that was perfect to close the show with. Black Stone Cherry have proven time and time again that not only are they capable of faultlessly playing their instruments, but they do so in style, giving off so much energy that it’s near impossible not to bang your head or sway along.