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Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr has some advice for songwriters

As Blackberry Smoke gear up for the release of new album You Hear Georgia, frontman Charlie Starr explains how songs shouldn’t be feared



Charlie Starr, frontman with Atlanta rockers Blackberry Smoke – whose new studio album You Hear Georgia is out later this week – has spoken to Classic Rock about getting started in songwriting. 

Starr, who is interviewed in depth in the new issue of Classic Rock (out now) has revealed how he made the transition from singer to songwriter. 

“I was ready, but I had put in my ten-thousand hours in bars and honky-tonks around the South, singing songs. I don’t know at what point I was ready to be a songwriter guy. I think it happened when – and maybe it happens this way for lots of people – when you write a song that excites other people. 

“You can write a song and think, ‘Is this good enough to show to three or four other guys in a band, and go “Hey, do you like this? Should we play this?”‘ but as soon as you see somebody else go, ‘Yes, I love this,’ then your confidence grows.”

Starr continues: “Don’t try to write for the radio if you’re a songwriter; write for yourself first and hope other people like it. You don’t want to be stuck with a song that you hate, and that you’re ashamed of, just because you wanted a hit. There are so many songs that I’m just like, ‘How can you sing that with a straight face?’  

“I’m not trying to get on a soapbox and talk about how it’s ‘art’. The music is, in its way, sacred to me. But it’s rock’n’roll, it’s meant to make you feel good, it’s not to be feared.”

You Hear Georgia is released on Friday, and is the follow-up to 2018’s Find A LightThe album is available to pre-order now, with bundles and limited edition vinyl available from Eyesore