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Album Reviews : Black Stone Cherry – Family Tree

By on April 3, 2018

Ok this isn’t going to be easy…

Black Stone Cherry are accomplished musicians performing admirably across the cuts on Family Tree. From the vids I have seen on YouTube and comments from the band’s members I found in interviews on the internet, the members of the band are first class human beings who have great intentions to bring the rock to the people.

What they aren’t providing is inspiring or original ditties, with song titles such as “Southern Fried Friday Night”, “You Got The Blues” and “I Need A Woman” they are showing their hand very early as one glance at the track listing in the album. No idea what the intention behind the cut “James Brown” is to supposed to inspire… the ‘butt rock at 1 am on a Saturday night in a Kentucky dive’ shtick of the band’s groove is possibly the last thing bass master Bootsy Collins may have anticipated when recording on the Godfather’s “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” in 1970.

Any way… what else to say? If you like Lynyrd Skynyrd, think Nickleback is worth listening to or get into the bro-core of Five Finger Death Punch, there might be enough here for you to become interested. I could leave it there, but I can’t resist sharing the following story…

I used to be in a band with a guitarist who rarely drinks and was known to keep to himself…on a New Years Eve, the band were in a regional Queensland town for a gig and we arrived a day early. We went to a Chinese dinner the night prior to the gig and had planned for a few quite beverages when we got back to the Airbnb. Said guitarist polished off a bottle of red wine, drunk a few tinnies, mixed the dregs of the leftovers on the table together (beer, wine, Jack Daniels w/ Coke) … then drank it all. By 1:30 am he was getting yelled at by the band’s drummer for being noisy and ranting… he later pissed on the toilet lid, adjacent walls and floor. The drummer then stepped in the piss at 4 am and had to take a shower.

If the prior paragraph could be broken down into scenes fit for a motion picture, the accompanying soundtrack would be the cuts heard across Family Tree. Inappropriate behaviour, yelling and long, hot, humid summers in the sub-tropics seem to suit this album’s musical narrative.

As I wrote in one of the earlier paragraphs, the gents in the band appear to be serious musicians with wilful intent and they can certainly play. But unless you really enjoy rock of the denim and lace variety steer well away.

Caveat emptor…

Band: Black Stone Cherry
Album: Family Tree
Year: 2018
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Mascot
Origin: USA


Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith