Blackberry Smoke at the Bluestone

Chris DeVille, Columbus Alive

The latest in The Bluestone's parade of rising country stars arrives Thursday in the form of Blackberry Smoke, a swampy Southern rock jam-boogie behemoth signed to Zac Brown Band's label Southern Ground.

As you'd expect from a band under Brown's wing, these guys are burly, bearded and well-versed in the fine arts of honky-tonking, post-Allmans guitar theatrics and down-home punning. (The punning begins instantly on last year's The Whippoorwill as opening track "Six Ways To Sunday" joins a rich history of spiritual/sexual metaphors, more clever than R. Kelly singing "There's something church about you" and nearly as entertaining.)

This is a country band for people who hate country and people who love country; had they been around circa 1861, perhaps we could have solved this Union-Confederacy business peacefully.

Blackberry Smoke has been picking up serious steam in the months since The Bluestone booked this show, so expect a packed house Thursday. A Thousand Horses and Mark Pennington open the show.

Zack Arias photo

The Bluestone

7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31

583 E. Broad St., Downtown