Rockers from the south, Blackberry Smoke, have set June 19 as the release date for their new EP Live From Capricorn Sound Studios. In tribute to the historic recording facilities in Macon, Georgia, which became the epicenter of the Southern Rock genre in the early 1970s, part of the proceeds from EP sales will be donated to the MusiCares COVID-19 relief fund of the Recording Academy.
The six-track collection, recorded earlier this year in legendary studios – the first project cut there by a major recording act in more than 40 years – consists of the group’s footage of songs related to the studio and the Capricorn label, where artists, including the Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, the Marshall Tucker Band and many others would merge country music and rock & roll. Produced by Blackberry Smoke members, the EP will be followed by the group’s Spirit of the South tour: a celebration of rock and roll music from the South, the dates of which are currently scheduled throughout the summer. Live From Capricorn Sound Studios will be available for pre-order on CD and vinyl starting Friday, March 27.
The Blackberry Smoke version of “Midnight Rider”, a long-standing staple for the Allman Brothers Band, is scheduled to celebrate a pair of anniversaries: the formation of the Allman Brothers Band 51 years ago today, March 26, 1969, and the release of “Midnight Rider” the same day in 1971. To record the original demo of this now iconic success, singer-songwriter Gregg Allman sadly broke into the Capricorn Sound Studios. The iconic guitar of Goldtop Les Paul of Duane Allman is also worth noting, that the main singer of Blackberry Smoke Charlie Starr plays on the updated version of his group.
The other songs featured on the EP are interpretations of Allman’s “Revival”, Marshall Tucker Band’s “Take the Highway”, starring flute Marcus Henderson, Little Richard’s “Southern Child” and a pair of tracks originally created by Wet Willie: “Keep on Smile” and “Grits is not the grocery store. “Jimmy Hall, who was a member of Wet Willie at the height of Capricorn, returned to the studio to record the voices of the guests on both tracks.
Special guests for the upcoming tour include the Allman Betts Band, the Wild Feathers and drummer-percussionist Jaimoe, founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. All Spirit of the South tour ticket holders will have free access to Macon’s Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House, with a plethora of archival material, including original handwritten lyrics, awards, photographs rare family items, iconic pieces of clothing and jewelry, unique instruments played by the group and more.
Blackberry Smoke recently returned to the studio with Grammy winning producer Dave Cobb to begin work on a new album, which will feature a collaboration with Jamey Johnson.
List of titles from Live From Capricorn Sound Studios:
- “Midnight rider”
- “Take the highway”. Marcus Henderson
- “Keep smiling” feat. Jimmy Hall and the Black Bettys
- “Grits Ain’t Groceries” with the Black Bettys
- “Revival” feat. the black bettys
- “Southern Child” feat. the black bettys