Photo by Evan Bartleson

WATCH: Blackberry Smoke Covers “Midnight Rider”

Blackberry Smoke will release a special new EP, Live From Capricorn Sound Studios, on June 19 with a portion of all proceeds going to the Recording Academy’s MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. Recorded earlier this year at Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, GA, the project consists of six new versions of songs that have special ties to the historic studio and town and will be released as a lead up to the band’s anticipated “Spirit of the South Tour: A Celebration of Southern Rock and Roll Music” this summer. Produced by Blackberry Smoke, the EP will be available for both CD and vinyl pre-order starting tomorrow, March 27.

Ahead of the release, Blackberry Smoke’s new version of “Midnight Rider,” originally recorded by The Allman Brothers Band, is premiering today in celebration of two special anniversaries: the formation of The Allman Brothers Band on March 26, 1969 and the release of “Midnight Rider” on the same day in 1971. The track has a special connection to Capricorn Sound Studios as Gregg Allman broke into the studio to record the song’s original demo. Blackberry Smoke lead singer Charlie Starr also plays Duane Allman’s iconic Goldtop Les Paul guitar in the band’s new version. Watch the live performance video above.

The new project marks a significant moment in Capricorn Sound Studios’ history as it was the first time a major band has done a professional recording at the studio in over 40 years. Additional songs featured on the EP are renditions of The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Take The Highway” with special guest Marcus Henderson on the flute, The Allman Brothers Band’s “Revival,” Little Richard’s “Southern Child” and Wet Willie’s “Keep On Smiling” and “Grits Ain’t Groceries,” both featuring special guest vocals from Jimmy Hall—a member of Wet Willie during Capricorn’s peak years, who returned to the studio to record these tracks. The EP also features background vocals from The Black Bettys.

In conjunction with this new project, the band will embark on their extensive “Spirit of the South Tour: A Celebration of Southern Rock and Roll Music” this summer, which will feature special guests The Allman Betts Band, The Wild Feathers and founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, Jaimoe. Created in celebration of the various roots and influences within Southern music, every show will conclude with a unique collaborative finale, which will feature Blackberry Smoke, The Allman Betts Band, The Wild Feathers, Jaimoe and additional surprise guests showcasing the inspirations of Rock, Blues, Gospel and Soul music.

Additionally, for the first time ever, Blackberry Smoke is partnering with The Allman Brothers Band Museum At The Big House—located in Macon, GA to bring the band’s storied history on the road with a new mobile set up. The museum will feature never-before-seen archival items including original hand-written lyrics, awards, rare family photographs, iconic pieces of clothing and jewelry, one-of-a-kind instruments played by the band and more. Jaimoe will also be onsite at the museum and available for meet and greet opportunities at each stop. All “Spirit Of The South Tour” ticket holders will be granted free access to the museum with $1 of each ticket donated to The Allman Brothers Museum at the Big House to help preserve its history and heritage. See below for complete tour itinerary. All currently scheduled dates are subject to change.

About Jerry Holthouse

Music editor for Nashville.com. Jerry Holthouse is a content writer, songwriter and a graphic designer. He owns and runs Holthouse Creative, a full service creative agency. He is an avid outdoorsman and a lover of everything music. You can contact him at JerryHolthouse@Nashville.com

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