In March this year I and a lot of other people were blown away by the Nashville band Blackjack Billy when they exploded on stage at CMC Rocks the Hunter. Six months later after a minor change in their line-up and the release of their first album Rebel Child they made a welcome return to Australia.
I was fortunate enough to be able to see their gig at the Enmore Theatre where they supported Gary Allan. Their unique style of redneck rock definitely appeals to the Australian country music fans and many that I spoke to had come primarily to see them again.
I was curious to see if the change in line up from a five piece band to four piece band would have any impact on their music and I was pleasantly surprised that they sounded just good as they did as a five piece band. The current line-up is the Noll Billings on vocals and acoustic guitar, Rob Blackledge on bass and vocals, Jeff Coplan on guitar and vocals and Brad Cummings on drums and vocals. It’s unusual that all members of a band are vocalists but it works well for Blackjack Billy.
They opened their set with the very catchy Blood Sweat and Beers which featured on both their Get Some EP and is also the new album. It was followed by a mixture of new and old songs, “Sugar Cane”, “Slow Dancing Under the Sheets”, “God’s Country”, “Working on You”, “Born to Ride” and “Sneaky Jesus”.
The set was rounded off with “Drinkalong”, “Get Some”, “Got a Feeling” and finished off with their signature song “The Booze Cruise“. Not too many of the crowd didn’t know the works to the “Booze Cruise”! All 11 songs performed on the night are on the new Rebel Child album.
Not only are each of the band talented musicians and vocalists but all songs were also penned by the band members.
Blackjack Billy’s music is high energy and infectious and coupled with the stage presence of Noll Billings it is easy to see why they have attracted so much attention both here and in the USA.
You can catch Blackjack Billy supporting Gary Allan again on the 28th September, 2014 at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, QLD on the 1st October 2014 at the Palais Theatre St Kilda, VIC and they are also performing at the Deni Ute Muster being held on the 3rd/4th October 2014 in Denilquin