Wild Bills in Duluth, GA was an entertaining place to be on October 2, 2010. The night started out with Buck O’Five, followed by The Scott Little Band and then the headlining band, Atlanta’s own Blackberry Smoke.

Don’t let the appearance of the long hair, scruffy beards, and long mutton chops fool you. It’s not just an appearance; it’s a way of life.  From the moment the boys hit the stage at 11:30 p.m.,  singing one of their many hit songs “Like I Am” the crowd was on their feet shaking their booty’s, stomping their feet and singing along with lead singer and guitarist, Charlie Starr.

I’ve always heard the saying that “they own the stage” and if any band does, its Blackberry Smoke.  Bass player Richard Turner and drummer Brit Turner are so musically in sync you’d think they were brothers. Well, they are!   Guitar player Paul Jackson’s sound demands attention.  The newest member on keyboards, Brandon Still, ties the five piece band together and gives it a melodious balance.

The set list consisted of eighteen hit songs.  Some of them are off their CD’s “Bad Luck Ain’t No Crime”, and “Little Piece of Dixie.” They threw in a newly released song that they sang with Jamey Johnson and George Jones, “Yesterdays Wine” and a cover of “Can’t you Hear Me Knocking” which was a crowd pleaser.  They ended up the night with an encore and sang “Man of Constant Sorrow”.

At the end of every concert,  after the last song is sung and I’m headed out to my car, I always ask myself a few questions:   Was it worth the money to hear this band?  Did they entertain me?  Will I buy a CD?  Will I listen to it?  There are not many bands that I can answer “yes” to, but I could this night, and can honestly say that I highly recommend that you check Blackberry Smoke out!  When they come back to Atlanta I will be there ready to dance and stomp my feet with the rest of the crowd!  As I climbed into my car, new CD in hand, I still can’t get enough of the Smoke!  They are touring hot and heavy through the Fall and will be playing in a city near you.  Check out their website for tour dates.

Thanks to our wonderful Contributor Stephanie Clark for the review and pictures!  The Backstage Beat loves you!