Arts and Entertainment

Black Stone Cherry at Norva

July 28 2024

7:30 p.m.
Norva 317 Monitcello Ave., Norfolk, VA Price: Cost TBD

Proud Kentucky rockers, Black Stone Cherry, emerge from a challenging few years triumphantly with a behemoth of an album, Screamin’ At The Sky (Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group), out September 29th. The four-piece band’s eighth album explodes with urgently-emotive pop-rock hooks; heartfelt, redemptive lyrics; headbanging riffs; powerful dynamics; thunderous drums; and its most thrilling musicianship yet. The 12-song collection is also BSC’s biggest and best sounding album. The self-produced studio record was tracked at a classic Kentucky theater, and it sounds like the guys are smashing down the hammer of the gods.

“The thesis of this record is adapting and moving on. In the last few years, a lot of what I knew from childhood went away. I lost my father, and now I am the oldest living man in my family,” says vocalist/guitarist Chris Robertson. He continues: “There is a lot of darkness on this album—I bared my soul—but it always foreshadows light at the end of the tunnel.” Adds guitarist/backing vocalist Ben Wells: “We see something beautiful letting pain out—you come out a better person.”

In the past two decades, Black Stone Cherry has set a new standard for Southern rock, revitalizing the tradition with its burly riffs and stirring rock hooks. Since its formation in 2001, the four-piece brotherhood has remained Chris Robertson, vocals/guitar; Ben Wells, guitar/vocals; and John Fred Young, drums. Today, the band welcomes its dear friend Steve Jewell Jr. on bass/backing vocals. Steve is formerly of the blues-rock band OTIS who has opened for BSC many times. “I grew up around this music. Every time we play ‘Lonely Train,’ I remember driving with my dad and hearing it on the radio. I get emotional thinking about it,” Steve says. John Fred chimes in: “Steve is the young kid in the band—he doesn’t have as many wrinkles! He’s a monster player, and we have this insane chemistry with him.”

BSC’s last album, The Human Condition, released on October 30th, 2020 through Mascot Records, was their sixth consecutive No. 1 debut on the UK Rock Albums chart. The album’s lead single, “Again,” was the band’s biggest single in over 10 years in America, peaking at #15, and it was BSC’s highest charting record ever in Canada, also landing in the Top 15. The album racked-up 50 million streams worldwide, and “Again” amassed 20 million streams total.

Over the years, BSC has both headlined and rocked 12,000-cap arena shows and shared the stage with a diverse roster of superstars, including Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman, Def Leppard, Gov’t Mule, Nickelback, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Mötorhead, Halestorm, Stone Temple Pilots, The Darkness, and ZZ Top. In 2018, BSC performed in front of 100,000 people at the Download Festival as main support to Guns N’ Roses. In 2021, the band played the UK’s venerated Royal Albert Hall, immortalized on 2022’s live DVD Live From The Royal Albert Hall…Y’All.

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