Blackberry Smoke

Blackberry Smoke has been traveling through the Americas for a decade now, playing honkytonks and beer halls, touring with ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and visiting Europe three times. They’ve been asked to play George Jones’ 80th birthday party, gained fans in Kid Rock and Jamey Johnson, handled about 250 dates a year and released three full-length albums including this month’s Whippoorwill.

And now, with a boost from Zac Brown Band’s label, Southern Ground Artists, the band is getting noticed by the likes of the New York Times and Washington Post, which praise the new album and the songwriting of frontman Charlie Starr. It doesn’t hurt that they played an Aug. 26 benefit show hosted by the cast of “Sons of Anarchy.”

Photo: Kyle Rippey / Southern Reel

It’s the return of Southern Rock – or at least rock from the South.

“I always say an ounce of exposure is worth a pound of success for these guys because, really, anytime they get in front of an audience it just multiplies,” manager Trey Wilson told Pollstar. “They’re going to see there’s an artist out there doing something new and special with Southern Rock, Southern music, or however you want to say it.

“We’re not going to run away from the title ‘Southern Rock’ by any means,” Wilson added, “but it’s more just Southern music and the influences that affect Charlie and his songwriting.”

Lynn Oliver, GM of Southern Artists, explains: “Blackberry Smoke and Zac Brown met playing shows together over the last six years in and around the Atlanta area. Last year, their previous label was folding at the height of their career so Zac seized the opportunity to offer them a home at Southern Ground Artists.

“We let them … make the record they wanted to make, which is now being acclaimed as one of the best albums of 2012. This record, along with their new relationship with CAA, will surely get them to the global touring level where they belong,” Oliver said.

Photo: Zack Arias

Brett Saliba reps the band at CAA, which recently took over booking duties.

“This band is the revival of [the Southern Rock sound] from the ’70s,” he told Pollstar. “We’ve always very much liked them. A lot of the credit goes to the previous agency; they did a lot of great work with the band, getting them exposure. We hope to continue that to a greater level.”