There’s nothing more American than a rock festival on Labor Day weekend called Rock Allegiance. And you can’t have a festival like this without southern hard-rockers Black Stone Cherry. The band is at the tail-end of a world tour in support of their latest album. I met up with guitarist Ben Wells and bassist Jon Lawhon to sit down and reflect on tour, and look ahead to the coming months.
The band’s headlining European tour in March was their biggest ever. “Europe is always great for us. It’s really been a blessing that we caught on there so quickly.” In addition to their relentless touring, Ben and Jon have launched their own music organization called Music Is Me. The company provides lessons and tutorials in all aspects of music, including, studio recording, instrument lessons, graphic design, photography, videography, and more. “It’s basically everything the record labels used to be back in the early days…plus a music school,” said Lawhon. “All that, but we’re not gonna put your record in stores for you…maybe eventually.”
Black Stone Cherry have had a strong career thus far. All three of the band’s albums have cracked the Top 100 on the Billboad Top 200 Chart, with 7 singles reaching Top 30 on the Billboard Singles Chart. Their last two albums each hit #1 in the UK. The new single, “In My Blood,” from their latest record, Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea (Roadrunner Records), has cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard Singles Chart.
The band is currently on a U.S. tour with Chickefoot, hitting festivals along the way. The band played the world’s biggest festivals this year, including Rock On The Range (Ohio, US), Rocklahoma (Oklahoma, US), Gods of Metal (Milan, Italy), Hard Rock Calling (London, UK), and more. The guys are wrapping up they’re touring cycle this week, and thn it’s hope to relax, re-group, and begin work on their next album. The Lonely Train keeps on rollin’. – by Matt Bishop (Photography by David Melendez)