US rockers Black Stone Cherry might only have been going for just over a decade, but already they’re shaping up to be one of Kentucky’s biggest musical exports since Will Oldham, Dwight Yoakam or, erm, Billy Ray Cyrus.
The band – consisting of Chris Robertson on vocals and guitar, Ben Wells on guitar, Jon Lawhon on bass and John Fred Young on drums – are on the road to promote their third album, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and will be stopping off in Newcastle on Monday.
They took a year off from touring to concentrate on writing songs for the album, released last year, and that move paid off as it is their biggest hit to date in the UK, reaching No 13.
Describing themselves, in a nod to the foodstuff their native county is best known for, as purveyors of Southern-fried hard rock, Black Stone Cherry continue to hark back to their heroes Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band, but, like Kentucky Fried Chicken chain founder Harland Sanders, they add a certain something of their own.
“This past year was the longest break from touring that we’ve ever taken since forming the band,” said Wells.
“Being in one place for so long was something we had to readjust to, but looking back, it gave us a chance to reflect, re-bond as brothers and craft the best songs we absolutely could.”
Black Stone Cherry’s show at Newcastle’s O2 Academy on Monday is sold out already, but returns may be available on the night. For details, go to www.o2academynewcastle.co.uk