Anaheim, Ca – Country Rock lives with a vengeance on this past Wednesday night as I was headed down to the Anaheim House of Blues to see Blackberry Smoke. This would be my first time at the Anaheim HOB since they moved it from Downtown Disney.
The Cadillac Three opened up the show, a band that has been growing more and more popular during the past years. TCT is a 3-pc Southern Rock band that consists of singer-guitarist Jaren Johnston, drummer Neil Mason and lap-steel player Kelby Ray. The singer has a voice that reminds me of Caleb Followill – Kings of Leon fame, mixed with Kelby’s steel guitar and Neil’s drum beats is what makes them a band you need to check out. Even Jeremy Popoff (Lit) agrees as he was in attendance that night to see them. TCT rocked the HOB with their southern authenticity and energy that speaks the language of rock‐and‐roll idiomatically and with gusto which definitely got the crowd pumped up and ready for Blackberry Smoke.
Blackberry Smoke came out to a packed house and played many songs including “Six Ways To Sunday”, “Waiting For The Thunder” and “Workin’ For The Working’ Man” to name a few. Blackberry Smoke consists of Charlie Starr – Lead Vocals & Guitar, Richard Turner – Bass & Vocals, Brit Turner – Lead Drums, Paul Jackson – Guitar & Vocals, & Brandon Still – Keyboards and labeling them as a country band isn’t an accurate description of what you will hear, they are just so much more. This band reminds me of the Black Crows mixed with a Lynyrd Skynyrd sound, and sometimes even a little of The Band. Talking about their sound, Charlie Starr had this to say, “We just want the sound of the band to continue to grow and broaden. But there’s so many elements to what people call rock. There’s gospel and country and swing and blues. We’re just trying to write songs that include all those different types of elements. It keeps it interesting for musicians and songwriters. You think, ‘Well, I don’t have a straitjacket on, I haven’t painted myself into a corner, so I can try and just make the most of this art form.”
If you were at this show then you were treated to a fantastic showing of musicianship from Duane Betts, son of The Allman Brothers great Dicky Betts, taking the stage to play the Allmans’ “Blue Sky” with the band. Also joining them on this night was Nick Perry , guitarist from the band Mount Holly, who took the stage to play “Sweet Ellum Blues” with the Blackberry boys.
If you can’t get enough of BBS then go check them out on their current Like An Arrow Tour. Blackberry Smoke will also be teaming up with Aaron Lewis for the “Sinners and Sanctified Tour” this fall. The extensive co-headlining tour will kick-off on October 12 at Shreveport’s Municipal Auditorium and includes stops at Houston’s Ziegenbock Festival, Charlotte’s Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, Little Rock’s Verizon Arena, New York’s Terminal 5 and Philadelphia’s Tower Theatre among many others. See below for complete itinerary.
House of Blues Live Shots:
The Cadillac Three