The foursome of Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry may be American by birth and Southern by the grace of God, but they are rockers by choice. In a state filled with bluegrass pickers and country stars, frontman Chris Robertson and his brothers-in-arms opted for bourbon and headbanging. Not that their roots don’t shine through in their music anyway. You can take the rocker out of the south, but I’ll be damned if you can take the south out of the rocker. The quartet, which also includes guitarist Ben Wells, drummer John Fred Young, and bassist Jon Lawhon, have combined the styles of Lynyrd Skynryd and The Black Crowes, with a modern hard rock vibe, and excellent lyrical storytelling.
This month Black Stone Cherry will release their third full-length studio album, Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea. For the first time the boys loaded up their trucks and moved to Beverly, for recording that is. The band holed up in Los Angeles with renowned producer Howard Benson (Halestorm, Seether, Papa Roach). They reluctantly took a shot at writing with other songwriters, including guys from Nashville, producer/songwriters Dave Bassett (Shinedown, Adelitas Way) and Bob Marlette (Saliva, Alice Cooper, Airbourne), and even John 5 (Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson). The results, according to Robertson, were amazing, and only proved to the band that their decision to take some risks with this record was the right call.
The album’s first single, “White Trash Millionaire”, a fun tongue-in-cheek romp, is tearing up the active rock charts. While the band waits for the May 31st release of the new album, they have a handful of headline shows, and a few support dates with Alter Bridge. Then the band will to head off to Europe for some summer dates, including a third showing at Download.
This weekend as the band waited to play a big festival in Rockford, Illinois, Metalholic caught up with vocalist Chris Robertson and talked about the new album, internet bullying, the tragedy of abuse against women and children, and how important family and friends truly are. With his ingratiating Southern drawl, Robertson opens up about his influences, his first guitars, and what keeps Black Stone Country intact between the Devil and the deep blue sea.