|You Hear Georgia [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Teal 2LP]||Blackberry Smoke||LDRS||Vinyl||2021-05-28||$29.98|
|WHOA! [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Pink Splatter LP]||Strung Like a Horse||Transoceanic Records||Vinyl||2021-05-14||$25.99|
|Mercy [LP]||Natalie Bergman||Third Man Records||Vinyl||2021-05-07||$17.98|
Throughout their career, Blackberry Smoke has embodied Georgia’s rich musical legacy, honoring the people, places and sounds of their home state. As the band celebrates their 20th anniversary this year, their reverence for Georgia has only deepened.
On their latest album, You Hear Georgia, the follow-up to 2018’s critically acclaimed Find a Light, Blackberry Smoke is further celebrating these roots with 10 new songs that feel like Georgia, accented by the addition of Grammy-winning producer and fellow Georgia-native, Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile). “Dave and I had spoken for the last few years about making a record,” Starr says. “Finally, it worked out, our schedule and his schedule, and we said, yes—let’s make a record.”
Blackberry Smoke worked quickly, spending just 10 days at Nashville’s famed RCA Studio A, Cobb’s home base since 2016. The band recorded live on the floor, giving You Hear Georgia a crisp, outgoing feel. Like other Blackberry Smoke efforts, this album leans into well-crafted Southern rock driven by jagged guitar riffs and rich instrumentation, as the band layers on rollicking piano (“Live It Down”), funky grooves (“Hey Delilah”), and introspective acoustic sounds (the stripped-down, folk-leaning “Old Enough to Know”).
The title song, “You Hear Georgia” features a narrator who’s underestimated because of outward appearances and misguided stereotypes, which is a theme of Starr’s lyrics this time around, particularly as it relates to the band’s Southern roots. “Lyrically, the song is about the South being misunderstood. It’s obviously a rough and tumble world, and there’s a lot of bad people. But there’s a lot of good people too. It started with the idea of how people might have a preconceived opinion of you because of a thick Southern accent, then expanded into the reality of how some people just seem to have such a hard time getting along, thanks to political or religious views, or simply what part of the country you come from.”
Many of You Hear Georgia’s songs describe characters that are restless and prone to seeking out a change of scenery, in hopes of finding a place where they belong. Against cinematic backdrops with vivid details, it’s easy to empathize with these protagonists as they share pearls of wisdom (“Don’t ever trust a grown man with a nickname”) and exhibit deep self-awareness (“Anywhere’s better than staying here, with the ghosts running thru his mind”) along the way.
You Hear Georgia reinforces that the band members have come so far together because they also can rely on one another for support and creative direction, no matter what the circumstances.
MP3 Album: $9.99 Download
12" pink splatter vinyl (special-edition indie variant), custom printed gatefold jacket with boards and 2 open pockets, 28-page printed LP booklet on art paper with custom collage artwork/lyrics, printed sleeve, custom flower fan sticker, custom holographic "I am SLAH" fan sticker, shrinkwrap.
After years dedicated to rowdy, high-energy live shows, providing tour support for Old Crow Medicine Show, Travis Tritt, Sam Bush, and Shooter Jennings---and building their own grassroots cult-following---Strung Like a Horse teamed up with Transoceanic Records and Grammy-winning producer, Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, John Prine, Margo Price, Calexico/Iron & Wine, Lucero), to record their first studio album, WHOA!, at Nashville's famed Sound Emporium. Most of the tracks the band laid down together in one pass, without overdubs, and were sent direct to tape, making it a “record that captures the vibe of their rightfully celebrated live shows perfectly.”
WHOA! has spent over 16 consecutive weeks in the Top 40 at Americana Radio, while debuting at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass albums chart, #1 on Amazon New Releases, #2 on the Amazon Alt-Country/Americana chart, #4 on the Alt-Country Specialty chart, #7 on Bluegrass Today’s Grassicana chart, #6 on the Folk chart, and #2 on the Alternative Folk chart. The album also made No Depression’s “Best Roots Music Albums of 2020,” Alternate Root’s “Top 100 Albums for 2020,” and Next’s “Notable Songs in 2020” year-end lists. Their official music videos of the radio hits, "Crazy Like Me" and "Till the Wheels Fall Off," premiered on Ditty TV and CMT Music channel.
While many know Bergman as one half of brother-sister duo Wild Belle, her forthcoming record is a cathartic collection rooted in the hopeful values and traditions of gospel that have helped her through the recent, tragic loss of her father. On the signing of Natalie Bergman, Third Man Records co-founder Ben Swank adds, “Natalie has a unique vision and has approached this album with a reverence for the sacred and healing nature of the history of this music, but has managed to update it in a way that is distinctly her own. We're very excited to welcome her to the Third Man label and family.” Alongside her brother Elliot, the island-influenced music Natalie Bergman made in Wild Belle has led to collaborations ranging from Major Lazer to Tom Tom Club, performances at Coachella and Lollapalooza, tours with Beck, Cage The Elephant, Toro y Moi and more. Helmed by her heavenly voice, Bergman’s solo album is steeped in mystic melodies and time-bending tones of psychedelic rock and soul. Showcasing her multi-instrumental and creative versatility, songs will be accompanied by visuals that blend her own abstract artwork, self-designed wardrobe and beyond. Stay tuned.