Blackberry Smoke – You Hear Georgia

I’ve read advice online that says if you like a certain type of sound, seek out other works by the same producer. Dave Cobb has produced numerous records I adore, so when I saw he was working with Blackberry Smoke I thought to myself “This is it. This is the Blackberry Smoke record that will make me like them as much as I should.”

I don’t know why, but I have some sort of issue with Blackberry Smoke. I shouldn’t, but I do.

I really should love them. They’re Southern Rock/Outlaw Country from Atlanta. I’m from Atlanta. And I love Southern Rock/Outlaw Country.

It really ought to be a match made in heaven. The fact that I don’t love them honestly baffles me; I just can’t put my finger on it. And I’m afraid that it skews my view on them. I try really hard to listen objectively.

You Hear Georgia is a layered blend of Southern rock and red dirt country music. The brand of country on this album is very much rooted in Texas style outlaw country with more than a hint of 90s-radio country and plenty of Allman Brothers style blues.

This record has a nice groove that makes you want to bob you head with a cold beer on the porch. You Hear Georgia has the proper amount of twang without sounding forced or like a caricature.

Plus, there are a couple of heavy-hitting guests on this record: Jamey Johnson and Warren Haynes.

I think my issue with You Hear Georgia is that it sounds generic. It could be the soundtrack to a Lifetime movie about a young ranch hand who, after neglecting his overly needy city-living girlfriend to take care of his prized horse, finds love in a heartbroken woman from Southern California who came to the ranch to rediscover herself and disconnect from her incredibly busy and demanding job.

This record is perfectly fine. But, it isn’t special.

It is the Equate of country music records. This is store-brand Southern rock.

God bless them, they are beloved the world over. They sell out shows. They are local to me. But……

My favorite track: Lonesome for a Livin’

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