Blackberry Smoke may be new to playing Deadwood, but the band comes in familiar with the territory.
The country album chart-topping, Atlanta, Georgia-based Southern rock/country/folk band will make its playing debut at the Deadwood Mountain Grand this weekend, but lead singer and guitarist Charlie Starr said he has been to Deadwood several times in his life during trips to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
“It’s always a very cool place to visit, obviously,” Starr said in a phone interview with Compass. “It should be really enjoyable, I would think.”
Fans can get in on the act when the band plays at 8 p.m. Feb. 16.
Blackberry Smoke’s appearance in Deadwood comes during a successful run atop the Billboard country music album-sales chart.
According to a press release, the band’s 2015 offering, “Holding All the Roses,” and “Like an Arrow” from 2016 each hit No. 1 on Billboard’s chart. “Like an Arrow” also reached the top spot on the Americana/folk album chart.
Blackberry Smoke’s most recent album, “Find a Light” from 2018, got as high as No. 3 on the country album chart, and their last three albums all peaked at No. 31 or better on the Billboard 200 overall top-selling albums list, according to billboard.com.
The sound of the band, which formed early last decade according to a press release, is a mix of rock, blues, country and folk that is evolving by the members learning to not get in a hurry, Starr said.
“From the first album we made to this most recent album we made, I hear we’ve learned how to let the music breathe and we are more patient with the music, I think,” he said.
That growth is evident on “Find a Light,” which contains what Starr said in a press release is the heaviest song the band has ever done, “Flesh and Bone,” in a reflection of where the world is at. Yet the album also delivers acoustic and rock numbers.
Their music and how it has evolved is a reflection of the music they love, Starr told Compass, citing bands like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles for their ability to change things up while staying true to themselves.
“They had a fingerprint, but they would throw you curveballs and that was the beauty of that,” he said.
The Deadwood appearance comes in the midst of the band’s seemingly never-ending tour. This week alone, according to the band’s website, Blackberry Smoke will play dates in Washington state and Oregon ahead of its gig in the Black Hills, and after Deadwood will hit Kansas, Oklahoma and New Orleans before wrapping up with two dates at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Feb. 22-23. Then, in mid-March, it’s back on the road again.
The only time the tour really stops is for Christmas, Starr said.
“It’s what we do. Touring is our livelihood,” he said.
The growth in Blackberry Smoke’s music over the years is reflected in how they structure their concert music lineup. Starr said he keeps a log of what set list is done in each city and takes into account what was played the night before when deciding what to play on stage each gig. Some of the band’s songs are candidates to be played each time out, Starr said, but they do like to vary things up.
That makes for a succinct answer when Starr is asked what concert-goers can expect from a Blackberry Smoke show.
“Nothing but surprises. Full of surprises,” he said.
Tickets are $45 for the Party Pit and $35 for general admission, and can be purchased by going to ticketmaster.com, calling 877-907-GRAND, or visiting the DMG’s box office.