Jon Lawhon (Black Stone Cherry)
They say you can’t go home again. But Black Stone Cherry proves otherwise on KENTUCKY, the quartet’s fifth album and most diverse and mature—not to mention dynamically exciting—effort to date.
A decade ago, Black Stone Cherry made its attention-grabbing self-titled debut at David Barrick’s Barrick Recording near their hometown of Edmonton, KY. It proclaimed the arrival of a vibrant and exciting new force in Southern rock ‘n’ roll, a group that played with fire, sang with brimstone and had plenty of cajones—what other young band, after all, is willing to take on something as iconic as the Yardbirds’ “Shapes of Things” on its first album?
Flash forward nine years and the BSC crew—still guitarists Chris Robertson and Ben Wells, bassist Jon Lawhon and drummer John Fred Young—found themselves back at Barrick, which had relocated and modernized a bit during the intervening years, although its analog mixing board hails from EMI’s legendary Abbey Road studios in London. This was hardly the same group of fresh-faced rock nubiles that made the BLACK STONE CHERRY album, either; they’d traveled hundreds of thousands of miles on six continents, written scores more songs and even jousted a bit with the industry. They’re family men and homeowners, too—still rockers to the core but well aware of the “real world” outside the tour bus. So they came into KENTUCKY –- the quartet’s first release for Mascot Records—more seasoned, battle-savvy and focused, ready to come back home and turn everything they’d learned into a set of ambitious and fearless new music.