JUNE 27th 2012
BLACK STONE CHERRY:
BETWEEN THE DEVIL & THE DEEP BLUE SEA
Review by: Richard Stephen Hensey

Chris Robertson- Vocals, Lead Rhythm & Slide Guitars
Ben Wells- Rhythm, Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals
Jon Lawhon- Lead, Rhythm Bass & Backing Vocals
John Fred Young- Drums, Percussion & Backing Vocals

Black Stone Cherry are are young ass kickin' Southern rockers from Kentucky. They entered the studio in Los Angeles with Howard Benson to record the new album named BETWEEN THE DEVIL & THE DEEP BLUE SEA  album continues to refine their modern southern rock sound, bringing on guitar rock while still remaining melodic. The 3rd albums seems to be moving in a more commercial direction.



Very little of the album is considered heavy as there are quite a few ballads that are good but not great. The first single "White Trash Millionaire" seems like it was made for radio airplay, but is still a solid song. The band do a cover of Marshal Tucker's "Can't You See" which is decent enough, although does not really bring a whole lot new to the table. The rest of the album is southern rock, just not quite as strong as what the band has done before. Black Stone Cherry have mostly retained the sound that made them appealing years ago, although definitely softening a bit in my opinion.



They've added very little that is new (in contrast to the rather adventurous Folklore and Superstition, which included the reggae-influenced "Sunrise," among a variety of other heavy but not derivative tracks), and the lyrics have gone from cliché to beyond trite and actually become frustrating in some areas. They deliver mixed messages mostly centered around women, and it all ends up sounding uninspired. They need to return to their greatest strength, storytelling, as evidenced in some of their tracks: "Rain Wizard" and "Ghost of Floyd Collins."

I found the harmonies are definitely present and have gone to the next level in recording. While they may not be the biggest thing in rock, what they have going for them is that they won't be going away anytime soon.