Atlanta's finest Blackberry Smoke have announced details of their eighth studio album, Be Right Here. The album was produced by Dave Cobb – who worked with the band on 2021's You Hear Georgia – at Nashville’s RCA Studio A, and then finished at Cobb’s Georgia Mae studio in Savannah, Georgia. It'll be released on February 16 next year, and is available to pre-order now.
News of the the album's release is accompanied by the arrival of its first single, Dig A Hole, the first song band frontman Charlie Starr wrote for the album. Infusing Blackberry Smoke's classic and southern rock sound with a dose of swampy psychedelia, it's also a song with a message.
"The lyrics for this song came really quickly," says Starr. "We each have a finite amount of time on this earth, so you probably want to make the best out of it instead of wasting it. Eventually for all of us, they are going to you dig a hole, so try to have a good life before they do that."
Be Right Here was recorded in late 2022 and early 2023, during a time in which drummer Brit Turner – who remains a fully active member of the band – was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, a type iof brain tumour. The band (Starr and Turner, plus bassist Richard Turner, guitarist Paul Jackson and keyboardist Brandon Still) are joined on the album by touring members Preston Holcomb and Benji Shanks, plus guest vocalists The Black Bettys.
“We didn’t feel a whole lot of pressure to go in and make this one quickly,” says Starr. "It’s just as natural and as real as possible. The last album was very raw too, but with this one I remember different times I would say, ‘I think we should redo that,’ and Dave was like, ‘No, leave it that way. That way it’s magical.'"
Blackberry Smoke play the Long Road Festival in Leicestershire later this month, and tour the US from September. Full dates below.
Blackberry Smoke: Be Right Here tracklist
1. Dig A Hole
2. Hammer And The Nail
3. Like It Was Yesterday
4. Be So Lucky
6. Don’t Mind If I Do
7. Whatcha Know Good
8. Other Side of the Light
9. Little Bit Crazy
10. Barefoot Angel
Blackberry Smoke: 2023 tour dates
Aug 25: Lutterworth The Long Road Festival, UK
Sep 07: Omaha Steelhouse Omaha, NE
Sep 08: Deadwood Mountain Grand, SD
Sep 90: Bozeman The El, MT
Sep 10: Great Falls The Newberry, MT
Sep 13: Missoula The Wilma, MT
Sep 14: Spokane Martin Woldson Theater, WA
Sep 15: Tacoma Emerald Queen Casino, WA
Sep 17: Tahoe Stateline South Shore Room, NV
Sep 19: Napa Uptown Theatre, CA
Sep 21: San Diego Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, CA
Sep 22: The Historic Fox Theater, CA
Sep 23: Redondo Beach BeachLife Ranch, CA
Sep 25: Salt Lake City The Complex, UT
Sep 26: Grand Junction The Avalon Theatre, CO
Sep 27: Boulder Boulder Theater, CO
Sep 29: Davenport Capitol Theatre, IA
Sep 30: Cincinnati Riverfront Live, OH
Oct 07: Petros Historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, TN
Oct 12: Effingham Rusty Reel Lake Jam, IL
Oct 14: Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival, TX
Nov 02: Huntsville Orion Amphitheater, AL
Nov 93: Tallahassee Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, FL
Nov 04: Orlando Amphitheatre, FL
Nov 09: Pompano Beach Amphitheater, FL
Nov 10: St. Augine Amphitheatre, FL
Nov 11: St. Petersburg Jannus Live, FL
Nov 15: Shipshewana Blue Gate Theatre, IN
Nov 16: Waukegan Genesee Theatre, IL
Nov 17: Elizabeth Caesars Event Center, IN
Nov 24: Atlanta Coca-Cola Roxy, GA
Feb 4-10 2024: Miami Outlaw Country Cruise, FL