By Joshua Wallace
Blackberry Smoke are releasing a Live From Capricorn Sound Studios EP that honors the history of southern rock. If you’re not familiar with Capricorn Sound Studios, the studio is in Macon, GA and has hosted many of the greatest southern rock bands including but not limited to The Allman Brothers, The Marshall Tucker Band and Wet Willie. It’s a great companion piece to their planned Spirit Of The South Tour which is scheduled to start next month in St. Louis, MO. The tour is going to be a celebration of southern rock music with support from The Allman Betts Band, The Wild Feathers and an appearance by original Allman Brothers Band member Jaimoe. Due to COVID-19, these plans are currently up in the air at the moment. This release will have to do until we can see the live celebration as it was intended.
The album kicks off with a killer rendition of The Allman Brothers’s hit “Midnight Rider”. A really cool feature with this cover is that Charlie Starr gets to play Duane Allman’s iconic Goldtop Les Paul guitar in this new version. Another highlight is the band’s cover of The Marshall Tucker Band hit “Take The Highway”. This track features current Marshall Tucker Band member Marcus Henderson on the flute. While there have been some good Marshall Tucker Band covers without the flute, you kind of need a flute on the record to truly match the Marshall Tucker Band sound. I’m glad that we have that here.
Another favorite is “Grits Ain’t Groceries” which was originally done by Little Milton and covered by southern rock act Wet Willie. I am happy to see Wet Willie featured here as they are often overlooked in the discussion of great southern rock acts. Another Wet Willie song featured on this album is their track “Keep On Smilin’”. This track features Wet Willie vocalist Jimmy Hall and it was recorded some 46 years after the original, in the same studio. If you would like to check out more Wet Willie, my favorite records of theirs tend to be Wet Willie II and Keep On Smilin’. Finally, this record features a cover of Little Richard’s hit “Southern Child”. This track along with a few others on the record features backing vocals from The Black Bettys. It also features Jimmy Hall on the harmonica. There is lots of great solo work with this one and it is a great tribute to Little Richard who passed away this year at 87.
This EP is a great homage to the history of southern rock. I’m glad to see a lesser known band like Wet Willie have such a big feature on this album. The Spirit Of The South tour sounds like an amazing show for fans of Blackberry Smoke and southern rock in general. I hope it has a chance to happen sooner or later. You can keep up to date on everything Blackberry Smoke on the band’s website. The new EP Live From Capricorn Sound Studios is available everywhere June 18th, 2020.
Favorite Tracks : Midnight Rider, Take The Highway, Grits Ain’t Groceries, Southern Child
Blackberry Smoke – Live From Capricorn Sound Studios EP (2020)
- Midnight Rider (The Allman Brothers)
- Take The Highway ft. Marcus Henderson (The Marshall Tucker Band)
- Keep On Smilin’ ft. Jimmy Hall and The Black Bettys (Wet Willie)
- Grits Ain’t Groceries ft. The Black Bettys (Little Milton & Wet Willie)
- Revival ft. The Black Bettys (The Allman Brothers)
- Southern Child ft. The Black Bettys (Little Richard)