“You hear Georgia when I open my mouth/don’t make no difference what I’m talking about,” Charlie Starr sings in the very first line of Blackberry Smoke’s new song “You Hear Georgia,” laying bare the focus of the group’s new album — an ode to their home state also titled You Hear Georgia.
Due May 28th, the LP teams the rock, country, and all-around Southern band with producer Dave Cobb, a fellow Georgian and the curator of RCA Studio A in Nashville, where You Hear Georgia was recorded live. The song arrives with an in-the-studio video that captures Blackberry Smoke with its expanded lineup: guitarist Benji Shanks and backing vocalists the Black Bettys. The album also includes guest turns by Jamey Johnson (on “Lonesome for a Livin'”) and Warren Haynes (on “All Rise Again”), as well as a Starr co-write with Rickey Medlocke, of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blackfoot fame.
The song “You Hear Georgia” is both a celebration of the Peach State and a warning to those who might underestimate its residents. “You see Georgia when you look down on me,” Starr cautions in the second verse. “I wanna reach up sometime and shake your tree/but you’ll fall soon enough.”
“Lyrically, the song is about the South being misunderstood. It’s obviously a rough and tumble world, and there’s a lot of bad people. But there’s a lot of good people too,” Starr says in a statement. “It started with the idea of how people might have a preconceived opinion of you because of a thick Southern accent, then expanded into the reality of how some people just seem to have such a hard time getting along, thanks to political or religious views, or simply what part of the country you come from.”
You Hear Georgia is Blackberry Smoke’s first full-length studio album since 2018’s Find a Light.
You Hear Georgia track list:
1. “Live It Down”
2. “You Hear Georgia”
3. “Hey Delilah”
4. “Ain’t the Same”
5. “Lonesome for a Livin’” (feat. Jamey Johnson)
6. “All Rise Again” (feat. Warren Haynes)
7. “Old Enough to Know”
9. “All Over the Road”
10. “Old Scarecrow”