Kentucky rockers BLACK STONE CHERRY have set "Kentucky" as the title of their fifth studio album, due in the spring via Mascot Label Group. The band is recording the effort at Barrick Recording in Glasgow, Kentucky. Taking a "back-to-the-roots" approach, the CD is being produced in the same way and same place as BLACK STONE CHERRY's eponymous debut album, which broke the band out of the small southern backwater and onto the world stage.
BLACK STONE CHERRY guitarist Ben Wells recently told Metal Hammer magazine about the band's forthcoming CD: "This is the first time we get to self-produce. And most of the songs, with the exception of maybe two or three out of fifteen, are all written by us, the four of us. Which all of our songs always are — we might co-write with somebody — but this time, the majority of the songs are all written by us. So it feels really good to kind of have that creative freedom. Even though we're still learning things as we get along, we've kind of picked up over the years touring internationally what our fans have come to expect and what we expect from ourselves and what we know people are gonna enjoy from us. So it's definitely… it's raw, it's heavy. We're going back to our hometown to record it, where we did our debut album. So we're kind of revisiting some of that old mojo that we had, and I think our fans have been wanting that from us for a long time now. So we want, and I know they want it, and we're just excited about it. I mean, the songs… These are probably some of the coolest songs we've written as far as the music and the melodies."
Added BLACK STONE CHERRY drummer John Fred Young: "We're not doing a prog record — it's not that different — but I think it does have parts where I don't think records before have had these parts. And I think people are gonna go, 'Wow! I've never heard 'em do that, or that transition there.' And I think, too, with us, we're… In America, like I've said before, and we've all said, you are only as good as your last American rock single, and for us, we just don't play that ballgame, because our fans, they're here for the live show, they're here to hear the songs and have a great time. And I think that in some previous records, we were in positions with the label where we had to write songs formatted [for radio]."
Continued Wells: "But this time, we weren't focusing on that. We said, 'Look, if they pick it up and they like it, awesome. But our fans are the ones who gave us a career. So we wrote it with them in mind and [the songs were assembled for] the live setting."
Regarding BLACK STONE CHERRY's decision to produce the new album themselves, John said: "It is very exciting for us, I think, because this is all on our back. We don't have a producer that can take a little bit of the heat if it bombs. You know, it's us being in full control of our sonic artistry."
On the topic of recording the new BLACK STONE CHERRY CD in their hometown, Wells told the WMMG 93.5 radio station: "It's just really awesome to come back here and record again and kind of feel those old vibes, because we all still live here. So it just makes sense. Why spend the money to go out to California, or even go to Nashville, like we have in the past, and record, when we have a great studio right here in our backyard and a brilliant engineer. So it feels really good."
Video footage from the new album recording sessions can be seen below.
BLACK STONE CHERRY released its debut live DVD+CD, Blu+ray+CD, Digital Video and Digital Audio, "Thank You: Livin' Live" via Eagle Vision on October 30. The performance was shot on BLACK STONE CHERRY's "Magic Mountain" tour, exactly one year prior to the disc's release date, at the band's sold-out Birmingham LG Arena show on October 30, 2014.