When Blackberry Smoke’s album Holding All The Roses went #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart in February 2015, it was the first time an independently-released country album had climbed to the top of the country charts in the modern era. Holding All The Roses shattered the glass ceiling, and since then we’ve seen numerous independent records, as well as records from country legends and even mainstream traditional upstarts ascend to the #1 position when before such a distinction was a pipe dream. And now Blackberry Smoke has done it again.
The Southern rock band’s latest album Like An Arrow has once again put them in the #1 position atop the country albums chart. Released on October 14th, it sold an estimated 18,253 copies to beat out fierce competition from the latest records by Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean, as well as the continued strong sales of Chris Stapleton’s Traveller. The numbers are also good enough for #1 on the Folk/Americana chart, #3 on the Rock Albums chart, and #12 on the all-genre Billboard 200.
Blackberry Smoke also put together a strong showing in the U.K., coming in at #1 on both the Rock and Independent albums charts. Blackberry Smoke will be heading to the U.K. in the spring, and recently performed on the BBC’s Later…with Jools Holland ahead of the release. Blackberry Smoke’s relentless touring is given credit for helping them to amass the fan base to help push them to #1 in an era of dwindling album sales.
As Saving Country Music said in its review of Like An Arrow:
“Blackberry Smoke isn’t just saving country music, they’re rehabilitating the status of all American music by baptizing it in the muddy waters of the all-immersive guitar riff delivered unencumbered and fully amplified, flying in the face of all notions of present-day style or trend that acquiesce to eepish tones and textures, shedding no tears if it leaves some of their previous mainstream fans or frail lightweights grasping their ears and heading for the exits as fire comes roaring out PA speakers like a primal country rock yawp.”