Black Stone Cherry - Kentucky

Black Stone Cherry Kentucky cover
Black Stone Cherry
Mascot Records
Black Stone Cherry return with their fifth studio album and a label change as well. They left the “major” Roadrunner in order to go to Mascot Label Group and have a full control of the things they wanna do in music. Multinational enterprises can be a real “pain in the ass” when it comes to the music freedom of a band/artist so some choose to go elsewhere so as to survive musically.
Black Stone Cherry honor their roots and that’s why they decided to record, and self-produce their new album in in the same “local” studio, Barrick Recording, where they recorded their homonymous debut album, with the participation of various local musicians and singers too. I guess it feels good to be “home” again and that might have been another reason why they named their new album after their home state. Guitarist Ben Wells states that this is their heaviest and most aggressive stuff to date and I cannot disagree on that. The album has a rocking edge while the blending of hard rock, modern rock, blues-rock & southern rock sounds more enthralling than ever. The big “fat” production, the apt rockin’ groove along with the crunchy riffs and Chris’ raspy vocals makes “Kentucky” an absolutely winner. The guys are rockin’ hard without any restrictions… and that’s what rock music is all about.
Tracks like “The Way of the Future”, “Hangman”, “Rescue Me” & “Darkest Secret” showcase the harder side of the band, while “In Our Dreams”, “Shakin’ My Cage”, “Soul Machine”, “Cheaper to Drink”, “Feelin’ Fuzzy” and “Born to Die” follow the classic BSC style that has made the band successful… groovy southern rock with bluesy touches. The wonderful & catchy power ballad “Long Ride” along with the sensational southern acoustic “The Rambler” (a BSC version of “Radio” by The Zuni Mountain Boys), which closes the album, are really making a difference here; the album just becomes even more complete. I do not really fancy the cover to Edwin Starr’s “War”, but that ain’t affecting the album’s final outcome to the slightest.
“Kentucky” can be both described as a “return to the roots” and “a step forward” for Black Stone Cherry. It ain’t easy to move forward while looking back, trying to avoid mistakes of the past and take the best of the “old-self” with you but it seems that these Kentucky based rockers have managed to do so in a very refined way. If you fancy southern hard rockin’ music, with a modern touch, then you can’t go wrong with “Kentucky”…