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Blackberry Smoke - 'Leave A Scar - Live In North Carolina' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/37/17/94/blackberry-smoke-leave-a-scar-85-1417031332.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 26, 2014    
 
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A nifty package.

I’m still a new convert to the charms of the wonderful Blackberry Smoke and have yet to delve into their back catalogue after reviewing the quite excellent ‘The Whippoorwill’ back in issue 63*, so this new live release came as a very pleasant surprise. The Atlanta quintet have been touring non-stop since the release of their last album (that managed to gatecrash the Top 30 this side of the pond) and ‘Leave A Scar – Live In NC’ is the perfect showcase of their Rockin’ Southern/Country/Blues hybrid.

Filmed at Ziggy’s in Wilmington, a decent sized venue that appears to have a very homely feel; the carpets on stage and the band’s laid-back approach gives the concert the appearance of a gig given in your front room for friends and family – albeit a lot of them! The whole band perform their individual tasks without fuss or any hint of egos, but obviously vocalist and chief guitarist Charlie Starr remains the focal point throughout the show, his voice sounding every bit as good as it does on the studio versions of these songs.

Kicking off with the sublime ‘Shakin’ Hands With The Holy Ghost’, the performance naturally plunders the ‘Whippoorwill’ album heavily, including excellent versions of ‘Pretty Little Lie’, ‘One Horse Town’, ‘Lucky Seven’, ‘Six Ways To Sunday’, ‘Crimson Moon’, ‘Ain’t Got The Blues’ and the title-track itself, while also reserving space for older numbers like ‘Testify’, ‘Up In Smoke’, ‘Lesson In A Bottle’ and ‘Son Of The Bourbon’. I don’t understand though, why they felt the need to run the closing credits over the rousing rendition of the excellent ‘Leave A Scar’ that closes the set!

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The concert performance is interspersed with revealing interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of the band on the road or at home with their families. All five members come across as down to earth and very humble guys who are taking nothing for granted and are genuinely thankful for their success.

The two CD’s that accompany the package include four extra songs that unfortunately didn’t make the DVD. I can only assume that these were recorded at a different show, which is a shame as I would have especially liked to see the performance of the beautiful ballad ‘Up The Road’ with its wonderful Skynyrd-esque guitar solo, while the Groove-Rock of new song ‘Payback’s A Bitch’ is also worthy of a mention.

Blackberry Smoke will be returning to these shores in October, until then this nifty package will do just nicely thank-y’all.

Ant Heeks

(* of Fireworks Magazine)

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