Blackberry Smoke: Holding All the Roses

Keyboard contributor Jon Regen reviews the latest album from Blackberry Smoke.

Whoever said guitar rock is dead hasn't heard 'Holding All the Roses,' the new album by Blackberry Smoke, out now on Rounder Records. Produced by veteran studio ace Brendan O'Brien (AC/DC, Aerosmith, Pearl Jam), the album is a breath of fresh air in an era of neatly packaged, polite power pop. it is, quite simply, a kick in the sonic behind.

On songs such as "Let Me Help You (Find the Door)," "Living in the Song," and "Wish in One Hand," the Atlanta-based quintet struts loud and proud, channeling the spirit of Southern rock renegades like ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Black Crowes. Of special note is keyboardist Brandon Still, who holds convincing court on piano and Hammond organ, and adds tasty keyboard accompaniment to the guitar-centric tracks.

Blackberry Smoke has been selling out shows and winning praise from critics and fans alike, and this raucous new record proves that legions of listeners are still ready to rock.