Blackberry Smoke had announced their show at Peachtree Tavern months ago and I knew where I would be for NYE as soon as I heard them.  Blackberry Smoke has the sound of sitting in my Grandpa’s old green farm truck.   The windows rolled all the way down with a Mason jar of ice-cold lemonade and 96 Rock playing on the radio. Blackberry Smoke’s music reminds me of getting a group of family together and heading to the lake to sit, drink and laugh.  Their sound is that of sweet Southern living and has the twang that puts the South in all of our souls.  I grew up listening to classic rock and I feel that this group has accomplished bringing that genre back to the forefront and the crowds love every minute of it as evidenced by Blackberry Smoke’s steady climb on the music charts.

I walk into to a packed house at Peachtree Tavern and I am instantly hit by the multitude of happy faces.  I see New Year’s hats and horns galore.  In front of me is Blackberry Smoke playing and I grab my date’s hand and head to the stage.  All around me people are singing and smiling and have their arms around each other.  As corny as it sounds, it feels good to be in a crowd that is emanating love instead of hate.  I pull my camera from its case and begin to shoot pictures.  I am welcomed by the every single person and when I need a helping hand I hear yes instead of no.  The lead singer, Charlie stops in the middle and says, “I don’t want to be the …hole that plays through New Years can someone tell me what time it is?”     Since I have not been keeping track of time I am shocked to find it is 11:58 PM.  The band plays for a few seconds and then the countdown begins. TEN: the butterflies hit the stomach; NINE: Excitement seeps through my bones; EIGHT: I can feel the adrenaline begin to surge in my stomach; SEVEN: My eyes start to peruse the crowd; SIX: I squeeze the hand of my friend; FIVE: My mind races through the entire last year; FOUR: I can feel relief and happiness that I am here; THREE: Oh my face is lit up like a candle and I see only smiles looking back at me; TWO: My feet are bouncing as we get closer; ONE: Wow we are at HAPPY NEW YEAR!  To all my family, friends, heck every single person out there I wish you prosperity in all aspects of life and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Then as if out of nowhere I hear the music of a great band and their songs once again begin to fill the air.  Partying with good friends, loved ones, and making new memories was a common theme for most on December 31, 2010. Along with a packed house at Peachtree Tavern, the special guests and I rang in the New Year with Blackberry Smoke and I can feel a good one coming on for 2011.

Special Thanks to Bradley Jordan for his continued support of The Backstage Beat!

Photo Gallery by:  April Bumpus