Black Stone Cherry brings southern sound to ToledoWritten by Jason Mack | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern rock band Black Stone Cherry is heading to Toledo on Aug. 13 fresh off a summer European tour.
“It was awesome,” guitarist Ben Wells said. “We had 14 sold-out dates in the UK. We tour a lot in Europe. It’s pretty awesome that we have such a fan base over there. Growing up in a small town that we’re from, we never thought we’d have people who can’t even speak the same language listening to our music and singing along.”
Lead singer Chris Robertson, bassist Jon Lawhon and drummer John Fred Young grew up together in Edmonton, Ky. Wells lived 15 minutes away in Glasgow, Ky., and met them through a mutual friend when he was 15.
“They were kind of jamming and I played guitar,” Wells said. “We formed a band, and the next day we were scheduling regular practices and trying to book shows. We had great chemistry from the start.”
The band also had a great practice studio from the start. Young’s father Richard Young was rhythm guitarist for The Kentucky Headhunters, and Black Stone Cherry took over their studio, an old farmhouse known as the practice house.
“That’s probably one of the biggest reasons we got so far is we had a place we could call home,” Wells said. “We used that place every day. We’d practice and practice, spend the night and hold parties there. It’s part of what makes up the sound of the band.”
The band spent plenty of time in the practice house while taking a year off touring to write songs for its latest album, “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.”
“In today’s age, the way albums are, you have to take your time and make the best one possible,” Wells said. “You have to make it last and make great songs. We didn’t want to cheat ourselves and cheat our fans. We wrote 50 some odd songs and narrowed it down to 12 for the album.”
After narrowing everything down, the band felt there was one song missing from the album and wrote “In My Blood” about life on the road.
“It was our version of how ‘Ramblin’ Man’ was for the Allman Brothers,” Wells said. “We just wanted to have a personal song that talked about the bittersweet side of what we do. We hate being gone from the people we love, but we love playing music.”
“In My Blood” started as a personal narration but became something universally relatable.
“We’re not the only type of people who can relate to that,” Wells said. “There are soldiers, business people, truck drivers and professional athletes among others. Their job requires them to leave home for a long time. We just wanted to write a song for the working person and anybody who has to sacrifice what they love to do what they love.”
The video for “In My Blood” was also used to honor that sacrifice. It follows 20-year-old U.S. Army soldier Randy Hirneisen as he is deployed to Afghanistan and Germany before returning home to Augusta, Ga., to meet his two-month-old son for the first time.
“We always wanted to incorporate the military in some way,” Wells said. “They make the biggest sacrifice out of anyone on the planet. They go away for a year or two and leave their family. We wanted to honor what they do and not have anything to do with us. We wanted to talk about other people’s sacrifices.”
Black Stone Cherry is performing at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 at Headliners, located at 4500 N. Detroit Ave. Tickets are available for $18.