Blackberry Smoke is getting ready to release their debut album, The Whippoorwill, on Zac Brown's Southern Ground record label. While the five-man band has spent the last dozen years on several different labels, trying to find the perfect fit their eclectic style of music, one thing has remained consistent -- that they have a hand in writing most of their tunes.

"I've always been the chief writer," lead singer Charlie Starr tells The Boot. "Everybody has a job in the band, and that's been mine. That's a very fulfilling feeling, to write songs and to have people relate to them or feel a connection to them. That's another sticker on the hand of all the things that make us want to keep doing this. We have recorded a few things during our career that we didn't write, and there's nothing wrong with that, but we don't go shopping for songs."

Although the group anchors their albums and live shows with their own compositions, songs written by other people that they have recorded include "Good One Coming On" and "Freedom Song."

"Those are great songs," Charlie notes. "I love to play them every night.I love that we recorded them and they were on our last record [Little Piece of Dixie]. But it's sort of a two-edged sword for me, personally, as a songwriter. I would never want to feel like we had to go record a song that somebody else wrote. That's how the gig is played for a lot of people in Nashville, with people who are performers and artists that don't necessarily write. That's the way it's structured. We don't necessarily relate to that -- the songwriter-performer separation. Don't get me wrong, I'm not bad-mouthing it or putting it down, but that's not how we started and how we want to continue."

The Whippoorwill will be released on Aug. 14, but eager fans can pre-order a copy at the link below or pick up a CD at one of their live shows. See their tour schedule here.

Watch Blackberry Smoke Perform Live

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Watch Blackberry Smoke Perform 'The Whippoorwill'

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