Blackberry Smoke have done their fair share of collaborating over the years, performing with icons from George Jones to Gregg Allman. So when the Southern rockers decided to cover a Guns N’ Roses song in concert, they enlisted a member of GN’R, guitarist Richard Fortus. The Atlanta quintet recently shared the stage with Fortus, a St. Louis native, for a rendition of “Used to Love Her.”
Originally appearing on G N’ R Lies as an acoustic track in 1988, “Used to Love Her” is a cheeky murder ballad that’s become a live staple for the reunited Axl Rose and co., with whom Fortus has played guitar since 2002. He joined Blackberry Smoke for a crunchy take on the song at the band’s February 15th gig at the Pageant in St. Louis, Missouri, where he traded solos with front man Charlie Starr — who also did a good job of imitating Rose’s inimitable flourishes on the lead vocal.
With their sixth LP, Find a Light – which includes cameos from Amanda Shires, Robert Randolph, and the Wood Brothers — due to be released on April 6th, Blackberry Smoke are already on the road for an extensive North American tour. They play the Bell Auditorium in Augusta, Georgia, on February 22nd, and salute kindred spirit Charlie Daniels at his all-star Volunteer Jam concert in Nashville on March 7th.
The reunited Guns N’ Roses meanwhile will take their Not in This Lifetime Tour overseas for a summer run, beginning June 3rd in Berlin.