Blackberry Smoke recording at Capricorn Studios in Macon. Photo: Evan Bartleson

Blackberry Smoke releases cover of Wet Willie’s ‘Keep on Smiling’ with Jimmy Hall

Blackberry Smoke is urging fans to “Keep on Smiling” with their new rendition of the Wet Willie song that also features original member Jimmy Hall.

Hall joined the Atlanta band earlier this year at Capricorn Sound Studios to record the track – in the same spot it was originally laid to tape in 1974.

Blackberry Smoke has created a #KeepOnSmiling campaign around the song as well, both as a symbol of positivity as well as a tribute to essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

On June 19, Blackberry Smoke will release the EP “Live From Capricorn Sound Studios,” with a portion of proceeds benefiting the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. The six songs all have ties to the historic Macon studio, which re-opened to the public in January; this was the first time a major band recorded professionally in the studio in more than 40 years.

On their version of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider,” Blackberry Smoke frontman Charlie Starr also plays Duane Allman’s iconic Goldtop Les Paul guitar (also recently used by Derek Trucks at the ABB anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden).

Other covers on the EP are The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Take The Highway,” The Allman Brothers Band’s “Revival,” Little Richard’s “Southern Child” and Wet Willie’s version of Little Milton’s “Grits Ain’t Groceries.” The EP also features background vocals from The Black Bettys.

Watch the video for “Keep on Smiling” below and pre-order the upcoming EP here. 

Blackberry Smoke’s “Spirit of the South Tour: A Celebration of Southern Rock and Roll Music,” has been rescheduled for Nov. 28 at The Fox Theatre. 

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About the Author

Melissa Ruggieri
Melissa Ruggieri
Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for the AJC. She remembers when MTV was awesome.  
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