Black Stone Cherry are an American hard rock/blues band formed in 2001 in Kentucky. The band consists of Chris Robertson (lead vocals, lead guitar), Ben Wells (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Jon Lawhon (bass guitar, backing vocals), and John Fred Young (drums, backing vocals). Signed to Mascot Label Group, Black Stone Cherry have released four studio albums and the band’s fifth album, Kentucky, was released on April 1, 2016.
This band again is one of my favourites and I was a fan right from the first self-titled album. The second album, Folklore and Superstition, was also brilliant, but I found the following two, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and Magic Mountain, to be a little mediocre so I am really hoping for something special in Kentucky.
So onto the review; Kentucky opens with “The Way of the Future” leaping immediately into those larger than life southern rock riffs and Chris‘s vocals smoothly guiding us through the song just as he does on the second track “In Our Dreams”. “Shakin’ My Cage” gets a lot heavier with great crunchy guitars in this real foot stomper, followed up with the brilliant “Soul Machine”, another bruising number. The fantastic “Long Ride” slows things down a little bit while still holding your attention well, but then Kentucky moves into the cover “War”. To be honest this is my least favourite track and just doesn’t need to be on here in my opinion. “Hangman” however steadies the ship once again with more catchy choruses and stomping guitar riffs. “Cheaper to Drink Alone” has some fantastic lyrics with yet another fabulous sing-along chorus really showing why this band is now a big arena act over here in the UK. “Rescue Me” again kicks off with some great guitar work and is most probably the heaviest song on the album while “Feelin’ Fuzzy” has Chris‘s vocals altered in a great effect and doesn’t hurt the track at all. “Darkest Secret” and “Born to Die” continue the great southern rock sound that fills the rest of Kentucky and we finish the album with “The Rambler”, another soulful slow number which is a great ending.
The two bonus tracks on the Deluxe Edition are “I Am the Lion” and “Evil” are both really good tracks and definitely worth getting this version if possible. Kentucky is a really great album overall, nice to see that Black Stone Cherry are back!
Mark 8.5 out of 10