Blackberry Smoke‘s recent release of The Whippoorwill has fans and critics calling the Georgia-based band the next generation of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Little Feat, Kid Rock, and other legendary southern rockers with a foot planted in the country. Since signing with Southern Ground Artists, the label founded by Zac Brown, the band have been on the road with Eric Church, the Zac Brown Band, and many other high-profile performers. It seems only a matter of time before Blackberry Smoke become headlining powerhouses themselves.
Charlie Starr, leader and main songwriter of the band, took time out from his schedule to talk about writing The Whippoorwill, how the songs were selected, and just what he hopes fans hear in the band’s latest release:
OS: You must feel great about having The Whippoorwill released.
CS: Yes, it was such a long time between making this album and the last album (Little Piece of Dixie from 2010). I had a lot of songs written that we had been playing live already. We were were excited to record those even though they weren’t new to us and our fans anymore. We definitely had those down!
OS: I’m always curious about the songwriting process. Are you the kind of writer who works on the road or do you have a certain place you prefer to write? (more…)
Worley’s first album in two years, One Time Around, is slated for June release, the same month he’ll host the three-day BamaJam music extravaganza, and that’s just for starters.
The man behind more than twenty charted hit singles including A Good Day to Run, I Miss My Friend, Have you Forgotten and more took some time from his busy schedule to talk to OurStage about his latest single, his new album and more.
OS: We’ve missed you! Where have you been?
DW: I took a little time off. I have still been touring but I put the whole routine of grinding out one album after another on hold for a while. I have a little four-year-old daughter and I needed to eliminate something from my busy schedule to be a better dad. We toured pretty heavily last year and had a good year, but we’ve been off the radio for almost two years now. I got back in the mood to work on music. I made my own record on my own dime. I had no problem putting a deal together…with complete funding from outside sources.
We have a real determined team of people together that are excited to make this thing work and we’re having a blast working it. Watching it start to grow is a hoot. It’s your baby and people out there are very receptive.
For a new artist, playing a sold out show in front of thousands of fans isn’t a regular occurrence. But for country artist Levi Hart, this dream became a reality when he beat out all the other competitors in the “Kid Rock Opening Act” Competition. His deep, soulful voice and impeccable songwriting skills earned him the opportunity to travel to Denver, CO and open for Kid Rock at the Fillmore Auditorium. We caught up with Levi after the show about his experience, and here’s what he had to say!
OS: Tell us about the performance. How did the crowd respond to your set?
LH: The crowd was phenomenal. They were so hyped about the show that I was instantly welcomed with applause and cheer when I hit the stage. I started out with a new song to be on the NEXT album and they erupted into a cheer again! This crowd was awesome. They were pumped and totally ready to for a good show and I gave them the best fifteen minutes I could offer! It was great!
OS: Have you picked up any new fans from the show?
LH: Absolutely! I had emails within hours of playing. Technology is fantastic. It was totally weird. But right after the show, I did meet a lot of people who enjoyed the show and I must have made an impression as I heard from some of those [people] the next day. Totally cool.
OS: Have you performed to an audience of that size before? Did you change anything about your performance to cater to a larger crowd?
LH: I’d performed for a little over 25,000 a few years back, but had been so used to playing 2000 people and under over the last few years in the club circuit in Nashville and surrounding states. It was a nice change and I forgot how awesome it was to play for a larger crowd! (more…)
Kid Rock is on a one-of-a-kind tour, playing in intimate clubs all across the country. Not only is the country superstar playing smaller venues, but he’s also bringing along donations to local charities at each stop on the tour. And, because he was feeling extra generous, Kid Rock decided to partner with OurStage to help select an opening act for his SOLD OUT show in Denver on December 1st.
You’ve been judging and ranking the artists you think deserve this opportunity all month long, and now we finally have a winner. Please join us in congratulating Levi Hart. His soulful, twangy melodies struck a chord with the OurStage fans and helped propel his winning song, “Set It Free,” to the top of the channel. Check out the playlist below to hear the winning song as well as more songs by Levi Hart.