Black Stone Cherry


Key Facts

Country: 🇺🇸
Formed: 2001
Genre: Southern Rock, Blues Rock
Record Label(s): Mascot Records
Releases: 6 Studio Albums, 2 Live Albums, 3 Compilation Albums, 3 EPs
FFO: Slash, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix

Band Members

Chris Robertson – Lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar
Ben Wells – Rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals
Jon Lawhon – Bass guitar, backing vocals
John Fred Young – Drums, percussion, piano, harmonica, backing vocals

Bio

Formed on the 4th June 2001 (Chris Robertson's 16th Birthday), in the small town of Edmonton, Kentucky. Black Stone Cherry an unstoppable force of Southern Rock groove, blues and rock 'n' roll, they have become a critically acclaimed act all over the world with their unique brand of southern rock that has been influenced by artists from many generations. With the guiding light of John Fred Young's father Richard Young (guitarist for the legendary Kentucky Headhunters) and the now infamous Kentucky Practice House, the band fine tuned and crafted their act to become one of the most loveable bands to date. The band have been tipped to be THE face of modern day southern rock which is a title richly dissevered. With a devoted fan base, which call themselves the Cherryheads, the bands phenomenal rise to the top keeps on going. Having many successful tours alongside headlined arenas and festivals in the UK and across Europe, Black Stone Cherry spread their love and passion for what they do and touch the souls of many with their family ethos and groove filled, upbeat music. 

Discography - How Each Release Left It's Mark

Note: I've focused on the main releases and as I have the bonus track editions of their studio albums so I've excluded the Hell & High Water and Rain Wizard EPs. I've also excluded the Classic Rock compilation album. I heard Rock 'N' Roll Tape and Live At The Astoria on Youtube as I don't own physical copies but I would recommend looking them all up as they're all amazing. 


Rock 'N' Roll Tape

Released: 2003
Label(s): Independent
Favourite Track(s): Redneck, Sissy Bitch, Amen Nation

This demo tape is probably one of the best I've heard. Period. While the production is a little rough, which is to be expected, the songwriting and band chemistry shines through it so brightly. I recognised some of the riffs in these songs would be used in later songs. Either way, I love the demo as much as I love the studio releases. as you can hear the beginnings of that sound we all know and love.

Black Stone Cherry

Released: 18th July 2006
Label(s): Roadrunner Records
Favourite Track(s): Crosstown Woman, Backwoods Gold, Rain Wizard, Shooting Star, Violator Girl, Lonely Train, We Are The Kings (Bonus Track/Hell & High Water EP)

I didn't originally listen to this album first, as the first song I heard was Blind Man off of 2008's Folklore & Superstition. However, once I did a little digging and heard some more, this album became an instant and firm favourite, I love the raw power and tenacity of the album. It fuelled some carnal desire for me to pick up my guitar and rock the hell out. I could hear the Led Zep and Hendrix influences yet it still sounded unique and refreshing to my then young ears.

Live At The Astoria

Released: 31st October 2007
Label(s): Roadrunner Records
Favourite Track(s): Voodoo Child, Yeah Man, Lonely Train

I was pretty late in listening to this one, but then again it is limited edition. The first sort of live experience I got of the band and it was then confirmed in my mind I had to see them live. Having listened to the first album and hearing those songs translate perfectly live was an immense feeling for sure.


Folklore & Superstition

Released: 18th/19th August 2008
Label(s): Roadrunner Records
Favourite Track(s): Blind Man, Soulcreek, Devil's Queen, The Key, Sunrise, The Ghost Of Floyd Collins, Cowboys (Bonus Track)

This was the album that started my love for the band. Blind Man was the first song I ever heard from the band and I remember that day so vividly. This album definitely started to define my musical tastes, I love the storytelling and riffs on this album, it captured my imagination in a way no other album did at the time. I knew I wanted to play the guitar after this album, but I was still a long way off from really wanting to play if that makes sense. The southern rock sound would be ingrained in my mind from this point onwards though.

Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea

Released: 31st May 2011
Label(s): Roadrunner Records
Favourite Track(s): Can't You See, White Trash Millionaire, Such A  Shame, In My Blood, Blame It On The Boom Boom, Change, Fade Away (Bonus Track), Staring At The Mirror (Bonus Track)

I had this album on repeat for weeks after in came out. Turning up to school with Chris singing "count your cash and kiss my ass" in my ears was quite an awesome feeling to be honest. Everything about this album reminds me of summer, from sitting in the field singing along to All I'm Dreamin' Of. So many great memories attached to this album for sure. It was round about this time I was taking my guitar playing seriously and the iconic Blame It On The Boom Boom riff was one of the first that I learnt.

Magic Mountain

Released: 6th May 2014
Label(s): Roadrunner Records
Favourite Track(s): Me And Mary Jane, Never Surrender, Blow My Mind, Dance Girl, Fiesta Del Fuego, Remember Me, Hollywood In Kentucky

I had just finished my first year at Bath College doing my music BTEC when this came out. It blew my mind, I had had a pretty rough couple of months is I remember correctly and this album gave me a phenomenal lift. I felt like I was growing up with the band with every release at this point as many of the albums came out at a significant time in my life. Purely coincidental of course. It was on this album cycle tour I finally managed to see the band live, in Wembley Arena no less. Awesome show supported by Theory Of A Deadman and Airbourne. There was a real honesty and good vibe with this album which is probably why I love it so much.


Thank You: Livin' Live (CD/DVD)

Released: 21st October 2015
Label(s): Eagle Records (UK)
Favourite Track(s): Peace Is Free, Blame It On The Boom Boom, Holding On...To Letting Go

Almost 7 years to the day that they recorded their first live album at the London Astoria. As much as I'd have loved it to have been filmed/recorded in Wembley I'm glad the guys chose Birmingham. The home of British Metal welcomed the guys with open arms and its  very well filmed and recorded. I can feel the energy of the show every time I listen/watch this.

Kentucky

Released: 1st April 2016
Label(s): Mascot Records
Favourite Track(s): In Our Dreams, The Way Of The Future, Born To Die, Shakin' My Cage, Cheaper To Drink Alone, Evil (Bonus Track), Mississippi Queen (Bonus Track)

In my opinion this is the bands darkest album, but full of raw honesty. For me this is the start of the bands recent sound that harks back to the first two albums in which it is more blues and southern rock centric. With the infamous practice house on the cover, this symbolises them sticking to their roots and being themselves and this album taught me a lot about that. Struggling in my first year of university this album helped me get through some of my tougher times.

Black To Blues

Released: 29th September 2017
Label(s): Mascot Records
Favourite Track(s): Built For Comfort, Champagne and Reefer, Born Under A Bad Sign

This is such a fun little EP, even though it's all classic blues covers the band did them all justice in their own way. Anyone who doesn't know the original versions of these songs could be fooled into thinking that these are written by the band. Every song has been made into their own and I think this is the biggest foreshadowing of what Family Tree would be ever!

Family Tree

Released: 20th April 2018
Label(s): Mascot Records
Favourite Track(s): You Got The Blues, Get Me Over You, Dancin' In The Rain, Family Tree, New Kind Feelin', Carry Me On Down The Road

This is in my opinion one of their best albums, songwriting wise. Going right back to what made them want to play music the blues and southern rock heritage just emirates through this album. The band have always had soul and funk but this album showcases that best in my opinion. Definitely one of my favourite albums period as it makes me immeasurably happy every time I listen to it. 


Favourite Song

One of the most difficult questions to ask myself or any Cherry Head for that matter, but it has to be the one that first got me into the band, Blind Man.



Me With The Guys On My 20th Birthday! (Experience Kentucky Tour)


One of the maddest days of my life, meeting my musical heroes and watching them blow the roof off of the Colston Hall in Bristol! I even caught Jon's bass pic! I remember John-Fred giving me the biggest Happy Birthday handshake I've ever had!

How They Inspire Me


I worked it out the other day that I've been following Black Stone Cherry since 2008 after hearing Blind Man for the first time when I was 11. 11 years later, I've seen them four times, have a t-shirt for every day of the week, two patches on my battle jacket, my name on the Thank You: Livin' Live poster (which got signed when I met them) and some awesome memories. Its cliche and corny but the band has been a consistent soundtrack to my life to some extent. I feel like I've grown up with the band and they've taught me a lot of things about peace, love and understanding.

On a musical level, I've been inspired to pursue that funky, bluesy and infectious southern rock sound that the band have and create my own version of it. I love writing those types of riffs with funky rhythms (with hints of Hendrix-esque and Led Zeppelin style elements too) which you can listen to below. I've honed in some of my songwriting styles through college and university, ever since I started listening to Hendrix I've always enjoyed that classic 70s rock sound. The energy that Black Stone Cherry put into their songs just makes you want to "start a revolution or start a band". After hearing Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea, I definitely wanted to pick up my guitar more, I did and now it has taken me through university and college where I've written three successful solo metal EPs (one currently unreleased) that have been streamed all over the world and I've played alongside and 80s popstar a couple of times, played in a few bands at college and it even took me down the producer path! Every album has had an impact on how I view rock and songwriting, knowing that as long as you have fun expressing yourself in the best way possible and enjoy making music, it shouldn't matter about the negativity that some people might have towards it. Its your music and you put everything into it heart, soul and pure passion and people will vibe of that. They have such a unique songwriting style that I can't find anywhere else that gets better with every album.

As performers they are second to none. The fact they can have a massive jam session in the middle of their songs and in between songs makes the live shows so worth it. The recent one for me was turning Cheaper To Drink Alone into No Diggity. Their on stage chemistry is infectious and you can't stop your body from moving and dancing all your cares away. Every show I've been to there's always been something different and surprising every time.

From a personal perspective, the songs have a lot of meaning for me and just like everyone who listens to and loves the band as much as me. Without delving into the past too much, Black Stone Cherry is one of the few bands I turn to when times get a little tough. With the positivity and love in the music it can give you that boost you need to get through it. As someone who has also struggled with the Black dog of depression and anxiety, seeing how open Chris has been about his own experiences has also helped me and reminded me that even though they're living the rock n roll musical dream they are still just like me. The humbleness and genuine family like love that the band have is unlike any other fan base that I'm a part of. Seeing pictures and videos of shows from all over the world with the genuine love and appreciation that all the fans have for each other makes me feel very special to be part of this fanbase.

So, it's pretty safe to say that these four southern boys from Kentucky have been a constant throughout my journey through this life. People don't usually understand why I enjoy and love Black Stone Cherry so much but hopefully after this they now understand. I want to thank every single cherry head and the band for creating such an awesome and phenomenal community that embraces you with open arms no matter who you are. Keep making the awesome music guys! 💜🤘





Caerphilly Castle - 13th July 2019

My fourth time seeing the guys and a truly special night where two of my favourite things came together, medieval history and some good ol' southern rock! With everyone singing all the words and having an awesome time in one of the best gig venues ever! Coming out to the Game Of Thrones theme was pretty awesome and the most heart warming moment was everyone holding hands raised in the air belting out Peace Is Free. I feel so fortunate and blessed to have been a part of this historic event for the band.





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