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Front Deck Boom Box: Charlie Starr from Blackberry Smoke

21 June 2022 | 1:43 pm | Staff Writer

We caught up with lead vocalist and guitarist Charlie Starr to find out what songs he’s listening to for this week’s Front Deck Boom Box.

Blackberry Smoke

Blackberry Smoke (Image: Supplied)

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Blackberry Smoke has become known for a singular sound indebted to classic rock, blues, country, and folk. Since 2001, the acclaimed American band – made up of Charlie StarrPaul JacksonRichard TurnerBrit Turner and Brandon Still– has independently released seven full-length albums, two live albums and six EPs.

Their most recent release the Stoned EP follows their album You Hear Georgia, which pays homage to the band’s deep respect for their Georgia roots and features special guests Jamey Johnson, Warren Haynes and The Black Bettys. Released in 2021, it peaked at #5 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and contains Hey Delilah and All Rise Again.

In addition to their work as musicians, Blackberry Smoke remains committed to charitable work and has raised nearly $500,000 benefiting children’s cancer research.

We caught up with lead vocalist and guitarist Charlie Starr to find out what songs he’s listening to for this week’s Front Deck Boom Box.


1. Drivin’ Down To Georgia - Tom Petty

This is from the Finding Wildflowers release which is a compilation of the outtakes and alternate versions of songs from the oh-so-fabulous Wildflowers album. Isn’t it amazing that Tom Petty hit such a creative peak at that time… so many years into his career. The outtakes are as good as the finished album. How many artists can say that? This song just feels like traveling. You can visualize every word.

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2. Apeman - The Kinks

I have spent a lot of time in the last year and a half playing the “good stuff” for my 7-year-old son. This one is an absolute winner. Ray Davies has quite a knack for writing songs that say so much lyrically while drawing you in effortlessly with an “ear worm” melody that children will sing all day long. This list could actually be all Kinks songs, but this one is my son’s favourite.

3. Panama - Van Halen

I have been a Van Halen fan since I was 11 years old. Eddie was THE guitar hero for my generation, and that was what we focused on until we got a little older and realized he and David Lee Roth were a songwriting machine. This is the kind of rock and roll chorus we dream of writing. Play this at a sporting event of any kind and watch what happens…

4. If I Needed You - Townes Van Zandt

There’s nothing I could possibly say about Townes Van Zandt that hasn’t already been said. The man put words together in a way that most people can’t. I wish I could have seen him live with a guitar and a microphone. According to some Texas friends, that’s all he needed to keep you in a trance for a couple of hours. This song is one of his sweetest.

5. AC/DC - Highway To Hell

I heard this song playing in a kid’s movie that my young son was watching a few days ago. I walked into the room and he thought that maybe he was in trouble for listening to it. I said, “that’s AC/DC, I love that song.” He said, “it says the H word.” I said, “it does, but that’s ok.” I then pointed out to him that it contains the best scream in rock and roll history in the middle of the last chorus. He agreed.


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