Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke have set June 19th as the release date for their new EP Live From Capricorn Sound Studios. An homage to the historic Macon, Georgia, recording facilities, which became an epicenter of the Southern Rock genre in the early Seventies, a portion of the proceeds from the EP’s sales will be donated to the Recording Academy’s MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
The six-track collection, recorded earlier this year at the legendary studios – the first project cut there by a major recording act in over 40 years – consists of the band’s takes on songs with ties to Capricorn’s studio and record label, where artists including the Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, the Marshall Tucker Band and many others would fuse country music and rock & roll. Produced by the members of Blackberry Smoke, the EP will be followed by the band’s Spirit of the South Tour: A Celebration of Southern Rock and Roll Music, with dates currently scheduled through the summer. Live From Capricorn Sound Studios will be available for pre-order on CD and vinyl beginning Friday, March 27th.
Blackberry Smoke’s version of “Midnight Rider,” a longtime concert staple for the Allman Brothers Band, is timed to celebrate a pair of anniversaries: the formation of the Allman Brothers Band 51 years ago today on March 26, 1969, and the release of “Midnight Rider” on the same day in 1971. To record the original demo of that now-iconic hit, singer-songwriter Gregg Allman would infamously break into the Capricorn Sound Studios. Also of historical note is Duane Allman’s iconic Goldtop Les Paul guitar, which Blackberry Smoke lead singer Charlie Starr plays on his band’s updated version.
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Other songs featured on the EP are renditions of the Allman’s “Revival,” Marshall Tucker Band’s “Take the Highway,” featuring Marcus Henderson on flute, Little Richard’s “Southern Child” and a pair of tunes originally done by Wet Willie: “Keep on Smiling” and “Grits Ain’t Groceries.” Jimmy Hall, who was a member of Wet Willie during Capricorn’s heyday, returned to the studio to record guests vocals on both tracks.
Special guests on the forthcoming tour include the Allman Betts Band, the Wild Feathers, and drummer-percussionist Jaimoe, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. All Spirit of the South Tour ticket-holders will be granted free access to Macon’s Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House, with a plethora of archival items including original hand-written lyrics, awards, rare family photographs, iconic pieces of clothing and jewelry, one-of-a-kind instruments played by the band and more.
Blackberry Smoke recently returned to the studio with Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb to start work on a new album, which will feature a collaboration with Jamey Johnson.
Live From Capricorn Sound Studios track listing:
- “Midnight Rider”
- “Take the Highway” feat. Marcus Henderson
- “Keep on Smiling” feat. Jimmy Hall and the Black Bettys
- “Grits Ain’t Groceries” ft. the Black Bettys
- “Revival” feat. the Black Bettys
- “Southern Child” feat. the Black Bettys