Don't Call Blackberry Smoke Outlaws, But They'll Get Out of Hand
The Atlanta Southern rock/outlaw country (whatever) band has been on so many cruises it's a little surprising the quintet's long hair isn't braided and beaded. When Rocks Off caught up with lead singer/guitarist Charlie Starr a few weeks ago, he was in the middle of packing for the band's first-ever foray on Kid Rock's Chillin' the Most Cruise.
That would have been the cruise on which BBS was scheduled to perform alongside Shooter Jennings, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Band of Heathens, '80s rappers Whodini (of "Friends" fame) and of course Kid Rock himself on a sunscreen-soaked voyage between Miami and Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.
"I'm sure it'll be the naked-people cruise," Starr says by phone.
"We're cruise royalty," he laughs. "We've done every one of the Skynyrd cruises, three Rock Boats, and then Zac Brown had a Sailin' Southern Ground cruise a few years back."
Starr admitted he was expecting a high time on the high seas.
"No offense to any of the other people who host cruises, but I'm told that Kid Rock is the best host," he says. "You know, he's a party guy, so..."
Did he know how many strip clubs were on the Kid Rock cruise?
"I don't know," admits Starr. "I think it will be a floating strip club."
Actually, Starr says he uses the annual Skynyrd trip -- the Simple Man Cruise will embark on its seventh edition this coming October -- as a convenient chance to take his family on a "working vacation."
True, Starr says his son loves to go out on the band's tour bus; sadly, the 16-year-old is in school right now. But after about 15 years as a band, the Blackberry wives are less than enthusiastic about going on the road at this point -- especially since according to the band's Facebook page, the band members sleep in beds other than their own as many as 250 nights a year.
"[The wives] are usually like, "No thank you. I don't need to be trapped on a bus with 11 guys,'" Starr says. "But this is a great opportunity for us to all get away, soak up some sun."