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Blackberry Smoke: The Whippoorwill 

Southern Ground Artists

The dichotomy of Southern culture has been well-analyzed and explored, but it's much more interesting to actually experience it. Atlanta's own Blackberry Smoke is completely unapologetic about celebrating the music and lifestyle of its beloved Dixie, and with equal parts barroom bluster and Sunday supper with family, The Whippoorwill is the group's most cogent work yet. Yeah, there are tons of palpable clichés - both in the song titles, guitar licks, and the lyrics - but they work to fire just the right synapses that activate some long-buried and happy memories. Charlie Starr and his cohorts have tapped a gold mine, and even though there is really nothing revelatory here, they've taken the tradition of Southern rock to old and new heights. (4 out of 5 stars)

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