"We will continue to play for him": Blackberry Smoke confirm return to the road after the death of drummer Brit Turner

Brit Turner onstage in 2023
(Image credit: Tina Wetzler via Getty Images)

A week on from the death of founding drummer Brit Turner, Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke have announced that they'll be returning to the road. 

"Brothers and sisters, as we all navigate this time together, we wanted to let you know that our upcoming shows, including West Des Moines, Medina, and Bowler next week will still be moving forward as planned," say the band.

"We hope that you join us out on the road to celebrate and honour Brit’s legacy in his way, because that’s the best way. He wouldn’t dream of Blackberry Smoke coming to an end and we will continue to play for him."

The band have also announced that their 2019 concert documentary Homecoming: Live in Atlanta will be aired on AXS TV this evening at 7pm EST as a tribute to Turner. 

Turner was hospitalised in Agust 2022 after suffering a heart attack at home, but was able to return to the stage shortly after. He was diagnosed with glioblastoma later the same year and had surgery to remove a tumour from his skull, but was able to return to the road with Blackberry Smoke within days. At more recent shows, his place was taken by fellow Atlanta sticksman Kent Aberle, before his death on March 3.

The band have also shared details of a non-profit organisation that is working to secure the financial future of families like Turner's.

"We are connected with this 501(c)(3) called Families and Communities Together (FACT) Relief, which works to support families when the head of household is diagnosed with a catastrophic illness," say the band. "While the Turner Family is financially stable, as we discuss options, research, and cultivate plans for what the future looks like, we know there will be unforeseen situations. Residual funds are granted to deserving causes."  

The band are also behind another non-profit, The Lana Turner Foundation, which offers support to families whose children are undergoing cancer treatment. The foundation was named after Brit Turner's daughter, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. 

Blackberry Smoke have US dates scheduled until August, then arrive in Europe in September. For full dates and tickets, visit the Blackberry Smoke website. The band's new album, Be Right Here, was released last month.  

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.