Ringing electric guitars may be at the core of Blackberry Smoke’s smoldering Southern rock sound, but the Georgia natives’ songs sound just as good when the band unplugs. Case in point: a new acoustic version of “Best Seat in the House.”
One of the highlights of the group’s latest LP, Find a Light, Blackberry Smoke cut this version at Southern Ground, the Nashville studio owned and operated by fellow Peach State native Zac Brown. Even with the volume turned down, the fist-pumping ode to overcoming alienation barely loses a step, relying instead on its inner urgency. Singer and guitarist Charlie Starr’s Neil Young-like tenor has the room to be gentler and more plaintive, a reflection of the song’s vulnerability.
“The country is completely polarized, and it seems like the only thing you can do is just try to make it better for yourselves and others,” Starr told Rolling Stone Country in an interview last month, reflecting on the conflicted mentality that comes through in “Best Seat in the House.” “The only people who can fix this shit is all of us, but we can’t seem to get together. To continue, you’ve got to find something positive in the middle of all this negativity.”
Released in April, Find a Light has risen to Number Three on the country charts. Blackberry Smoke is currently on the road in support of the album, performing May 25th at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California.