You know you've got something as a band when you make the decision to scale down your touring from 250 shows a year to more like 150 shows per year.
Sure, Blackberry Smoke are road dogs, but they've also been in demand enough for the last several years to have that many shows to play. Eventually it takes its toll, though, and frontman Charlie Starr says the band's slowing down was in order to foil the negative effects of road life.
"It seems smarter to not try and beat ourselves to death [with touring]," Starr tells Q104.3 New York's "Out of the Box" with Jonathan Clarke.
And there certainly aren't any ill-effects showing on the band's latest album, Like An Arrow, released in October of 2016. The album debuted at #1 on the U.S. country charts and made top 5 on the indie and rock charts, as well as receiving serious critical acclaim.
Starr says the band had about a month between tours to write and record Like An Arrow, so it went from the tour bus to the studio and got to work.
"There was not a whole lot of thought that went into it other than, 'We've got a month off; let's make a record.'"
Apart from critics lauding the album, Blackberry Smoke also got an important endorsement from southern rock icon Gregg Allman, who liked the song "Free on a Wing" enough to lend his voice to the track.
"We'd known Gregg for a while and he was really a gracious person and he was just cool," Starr said.
"That was really touching to me, thinking, 'Man, he took time out of his schedule to come do that for us,'" Starr added, emphasizing how Allman spent time on the song although he didn't know how much longer his body would hold up.
Watch the full interview above and look for the band's new album, Find A Light, coming out this spring!!
Check out the official video for "Like An Arrow":