Atlanta Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke cut an acoustic-driven EP in conjunction with 2018 album Find a Light at hometown friend Zac Brown's Southern Ground Studio in Nashville. The fruits of this effort, The Southern Ground Sessions, arrives Oct. 26 via Three-Legged Records.
The latest video from those sessions captures the band's recreation of "Medicate My Mind," one of the better tracks off Find a Light. When singer and guitarist Charlie Starr and his bandmates go unplugged, they sound more like blues-rock poets Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts and other Allman Bros. Band alums than Lynyrd Skynyrd's three-guitar attack.
Half of the six-song collection features guest collaborators. Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers appears on "Mother Mountain," while Amanda Shires adds star power to a stripped-down take on "Let Me Down Easy" and a cover of Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky." Rounding out the release are new recordings of prior album tracks "Run Away From It All" and "Best Seat in The House."
Despite being a rock 'n' roll band to the core, their last four records performed well on the country charts. Earache Records release The Whippoorwill (2012) cracked the country album chart's top ten. It was followed by consecutive number one country and rock albums, Holding All the Roses (2015) and Like an Arrow (2016). Released in April, Find a Light kept this trend intact by topping out at the number three spot on the country albums chart.
As for the new EP, it features high-profile collaborations that cull from the band's impressive network of peers and fans. Even the studio itself tells a major detail about the band's journey. A chance to tour with The Zac Brown Band back in 2012 certainly helped position the band for its ongoing run of mainstream success.