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Blackberry Smoke Join Kid Rock in Salute to Soldiers


Blackberry Smoke frontman Charlie Starr says the band members will never be the same after their September concert at Fort Jackson, S.C.

“The show that night was one of the most amazing events I’ve never been lucky enough to be part of,” Charlie tells The Comet. “Looking out from the stage, I saw about 15,000 soldiers to my left and 15,000 civilians to my right … It was [unbelievably] powerful. Anybody who wouldn’t be moved by such a thing can kiss our collective a**.”

One unexpected bonus of the evening was a plaque presentation by the installation’s leaders to the band.

“I didn’t see a dry eye among us,” Charlie says of receiving the commemorative plaque. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt like such an American.”

Blackberry Smoke played the show with their buddy Kid Rock and are looking forward to doing similar shows in the future.

“We always stand behind the soldiers. They are the reason we can do what we do,” Charlie tells The Boot. “We have played military bases before, too, with ZZ Top, and I’ve sat and listened to soldiers younger than I am talk about Afghanistan and their lives. Anytime we can give back to them, we will do it. They pay the ultimate price for us.”

The similarly patriotic James Otto, recent recipient of a Purple Heart medal from a Marine whose life he touched, has a lot of respect and admiration for the Blackberry guys.

“I’m a fan. I really dig their stuff,” James tells The Boot. “They are as real as they get. They played a show with me and I sat and watched them and can tell you they play straight up southern [songs]. They are the real thing.”

Blackberry Smoke’s next tour stop is October 30 in New Orleans. For a complete list of cities and dates, check here.

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