The Southern Ground Sessions
Southern rockers’ six-track acoustic EP. It’s become common practice for artists with a loyal following to lure them into buying an album twice by reissuing it months later as an ‘expanded’, ‘deluxe’ edition. Blackberry Smoke have at least tried something a bit different, releasing an EP of five acoustic re-recordings of tracks from April’s Find A Light plus a cover of Tom Petty’s You Got Lucky, all recorded live in the studio in the titular Nashville facility.
Apart from the laughs and expressions of approval bookending the takes, though, not much is new, and it’s not always for the better. Medicate My Mind benefits from a slightly slower, groovier tempo, but in other cases these undeniably strong, simple songs sound much the same without electric guitars. You can barely hear Amanda Shires’ silvery harmonies on Let Me Down Easy, and the lush 12-string guitars of Mother Mountain sound rougher in a demo way rather than offering extra organic edge.
Grounded, then, but also a little earthbound.