Corbin, Kentucky – Kentucky has produced many musicians and bands that people have loved over time. None on the scale of Southern Rock legends, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Then again, few places have produced a band with the talent and longevity of Skynyrd. One band in particular that Kentucky has produced, is Black Stone Cherry. They’re often described as a modern day Lynyrd Skynyrd, on steroids. They’ve created a sound that’s definitely akin to Skynyrd, but has modern elements that have created a sound undeniably their own.
The guys that make up Black Stone Cherry, (Chris Robertson – Vocals/Guitars, Ben Wells – Guitars/Vocals, Jon Lawhon – Bass/Vocals, John Fred Young – Drums/Vocals) took to the Cumberland Parkway and made the 110 mile journey from their hometown of Edmonton, KY to the Corbin Arena. Bringing many fans with them, the band performed a blistering set that was a fantastic mixture of tracks from every album they have released.
Few tracks match the intensity of “Soul Machine” or say “Blame It On The Boom Boom“, but on this night, playing in their home state after a very successful Australian tour, Black Stone Cherry was on the throttle from the opening notes.
Highlights included their current single, “Cheaper To Drink Alone“, “In My Blood“, and “White Trash Millionaire“. But it was the last two songs of that night that swayed many fans. Starting with the track that started it all for Black Stone Cherry, “Lonely Train“, the band transitioned into the Jimi Hendrix classic, “Voodoo Chile“. Needless to say, the classic rock fans there to see Skynyrd were blown away by the powerful performance of Jimi. While playing their instruments behind their heads, Black Stone Cherry were secretly stealing the hearts of all in attendance. Many people may have came to Corbin as Skynyrd fans, but from the reactions that I witnessed, many also left as Black Stone Cherry fans. And that makes this fellow Kentuckian extremely proud.
After a short set change, AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck“, came blaring across the PA, as an announcer hyped the crowd for the arrival of Skynyrd. Shortly after the song ended Skynyrd took to the stage and delivered a set of many of their classic hits that kept the Kentucky crowd on their feet most of the night.
If you’ve ever been to Eastern Kentucky, and you know that a large section of the population there are hard-workers and beer drinkers, then you also know that a blue-collar band like Skynyrd is the music of the people. So as you can imagine, a Saturday night with Skynyrd in Corbin is indeed special.
The set was littered with classic hits, such as “What’s Your Name“, Saturday Night Special“, “That Smell“, “Simple Man“, “Gimme Back My Bullets“, “Tuesday’s Gone” and “Call Me The Breeze“. Yet it was clearly the last song of the set and the encore that people were there to see. With the beer flowing, Corbin stood on their feet and sang loud and proud to “Sweet Home Alabama” and of course, THE biggest Southern rock anthem ever written in “Freebird“.
I’m not sure how the Corbin Arena is still standing after such a devastating night of music, both bands did their best to bring the house down, but I for one look forward to the next time we can all get together and share such a wonderful night.