Taking a break from their cross-country tour with ZZ Top, Blackberry Smoke stopped by Conan O’Brien’s late-night show Monday night to perform “Rock and Roll Again,” a song that plays up the grittier, groovier side of the band’s country-rock.
Fueled by Gibson guitars and boogie-woogie riffs, “Rock and Roll Again” — the newest single from this year’s Holding All the Roses — tips its cowboy hat to the good women behind all good men. It’s swampy, smutty and thoroughly southern, with frontman Charlie Starr singing the praises of the lady who “keeps me moving when I get to sittin’ still.” Joined by the rest of his long-haired, cowboy-booted bandmates on the Conan stage, Starr looked less like the frontman of a chart-topping country group and more like a remnant from the glory days of southern rock, when Bible Belt rockers like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers ruled the roost. The guys enjoy that juxtaposition. “We’ll wear that hat — the Southern Rock Band hat — because we’re a rock & roll band from the South,” Starr told Rolling Stone Country last year. “It’s what we do.”
When their ZZ Top tour comes to a close later this month, Blackberry Smoke will headline a pair of their own shows before heading overseas in October. Shows in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the U.K. will keep them busy through mid-November, when the group heads back to the States for a homecoming show in Atlanta on November 27th.