When it was announced that Blackberry Smoke was coming to Abilene to play at the Lucky Mule Saloon, people marked their calendars in anticipation. I fielded calls from KEAN listeners, saying BBS is "the real deal", "my favorite band" remarking that the Atlanta, Georgia-based quintet is "the hottest thing going". Needless to say, the country/ southern rockers have generated quite a following. And they paid a visit to the KEAN studios to see if they could add a few fans. I think they did.

The entire 5-piece band came into the studio ready to play. In the first portion of our interview, lead singer Charlie Starr introduced Richard Turner (bass), Paul Jackson (guitar), Brit Turner (shuitar), and Brandon Still (piano). "We've been working hard for so many years, we've been together for thirteen years so it just becomes, you know, not really more of the same, but we do the same thing night after night aft er night". I asked if their motto is "persistence pays off", and Starr simply responded in a calm voice, "We're tenacious.". Then Blackberry Smoke played "Everybody Knows She's Mine" from their newest CD, 'The Whippoorwill'. Take a listen to the first segment:

The second portion of Blackberry Smoke's visit to the KEAN Afternoon Show included Charlie Starr talking about performing on 'The Kid Rock Cruise'. He told us, "We've done a lot of cruises, and most of them have been with Lynyrd Skynyrd which is great. All of those are fabulous. The Kid Rock Cruise was a little bit more 'R-Rated'...uh...a lot more R-Rated' I guess, but it was great". I asked Charlie - an extremely talented singer and guitarist - which talent was realized first. Without skipping a beat, he answered, "Guitar...I had a singing family, and everybody else sang so I never really had to. Well...I would be forced to and hated it.". He added, "When I was a teenager, I played in a lot of bands with crazy singers, and I realized that all lead singers are insane. And they all have lead singer disease, and I thought 'to hell with this, I'll do it'. The band played a second song in studio, "Ain't Much Left of Me":

The final segment opened with Blackberry Smoke playing another song in studio, 'One Horse Town' off the new CD, 'The Whippoorwill'. And we wrapped up our time together talking about how busy the band continues to be, playing upwards of around 200 shows a year. Take a listen:

These guys are outstanding. Blackberry Smoke is a band that deserves every bit of the success they're seeing, and then some. Not only are they talented and willing to go the extra mile to promote their music (like spend an hour hanging out at a radio station just before a concert), but these are some of the nicest bunch of guys I've crossed paths with. Thanks to Charlie, Richard, Paul, Brit and Brandon for stopping by, and we wish Blackberry Smoke all the best down the road.