After 18 shows, Blackberry Smoke concluded their “Break It Down” acoustic tour with back-to-back nights (April 6-7) at New York’s City Winery. Taking the stage for the final performance, Charlie Starr asked if anyone in the audience had been at the previous night’s show. Blackberry Smoke’s fans are a dedicated bunch, so it was no surprise that many were back for a second helping. “Well, we’re not going to play any of the same songs,” Starr announced to cheers.
In order to make good on that promise, the Georgia sextet pulled from their diverse catalog but also drew on their influences. With tracks such as “Sanctified Woman” from their very first album and well-worn favorites including “One Horse Town,” Starr and crew delivered what their fans had come to hear while working in some surprising covers. Early on, Starr teased the Rolling Stones, slipping a few lines from “Let It Bleed” into their own “Lay It All on Me.” Later in the set, the boys went full Stones with a solid cover of “Loving Cup.” Additional covers included the Grateful Dead’s “Althea” and The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”
Front and center was Blackberry Smoke’s most recent album, last year’s Find A Light, and the followup, Southern Ground Sessions, which features acoustic versions of many of the same songs. It was Southern Ground that served as the inspiration for the acoustic tour. Starr’s soulful vocals were at their finest with “Seems So Far” and “Mother Mountain.” He promised that acoustic shows such as this will now be a regular part of the band’s touring schedule. In addition, Blackberry Smoke announced they will be returning to New York, with September shows at Brooklyn Bowl.
There was a feel-good vibe as the crowd spilled out onto Varick Street on a warm spring night, further proof that Blackberry Smoke has found a home here in New York.
“Lay It All On Me”
“Ain’t Much Left Of Me”
“The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down”
“Everybody Knows She’s Mine”
Setlist: Blackberry Smoke | City Winter | New York, NY | 4/7/19
Columbus Stockade Blues, Pretty Little Lie, Lay It All on Me, Sanctified Woman, Wish in One Hand, Believe You Me, Loving Cup, The Good Life, Mother Mountain, Hard Times, Run Away From It All, Seems So Far, The Whippoorwill, Everybody Knows She’s Mine, Althea, Happy Birthday to You, Normaltown, One Horse Town, The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down, I Ain’t Got The Blues, Ain’t Much Left Of Me