Black Stone Cherry Biography and Profile

black stone cherry
Black Stone Cherry. Photo courtesy Roadrunner.

Black Stone Cherry Overview:

Black Stone Cherry formed in the summer of 2001 in a small town in Kentucky. Playing Southern hard rock, Black Stone Cherry emphasize community and local color in their songs. Though they draw comparisons to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Stone Cherry focus less on Southern pride and classic rock, instead telling simple stories about family and romantic relationships that feature the crunch of contemporary hard rock. The band's frontman is Chris Robertson, who also plays the occasional slide guitar.

Landing at Roadrunner:

Signing with management company In De Goot, Black Stone Cherry attracted interest from Roadrunner Records, who released the band's debut, Black Stone Cherry, in 2006. Though not a huge commercial success, Black Stone Cherry did manage to produce three minor hit singles: "Lonely Train," "Hell and High Water" and "Rain Wizard." The album reflected the band members' youth - nobody in the group was older than 23 at the time - and consequently the songs felt deeply indebted to their sources: Alice in Chains-style hard rock with the full-throttled bluster of Nickelback.

Avoiding the Sophomore Slump:

Black Stone Cherry took a major step forward with their second record, 2008's Folklore and Superstition. Cracking the Top 30 of the Billboard album chart, Folklore and Superstition was as rollicking a collection as Black Stone Cherry, but the hooks were more distinctive and the songs more varied in their approach. "Please Come In" was an emotional mid-tempo relationship song, while "Things My Father Said" touchingly addressed a deceased parent. At the same time, the album upped the regional flavor, incorporating swampy sound effects and a spoken-word interlude from a good-ol'-boy Southerner.

'Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea':

On May 31, 2011, Black Stone Cherry released their third full-length, Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea. The first single, "White Trash Millionaire," hit radio in April.

'Magic Mountain' and 'Thank You: Living Live' Concert CD/DVD:

Black Stone Cherry released their third album Magic Mountain on May 6, 2014. The album reached number 22 on the Billboard 200 album chart. In 2015 Black Stone Cherry released Thank You: Living Live, a live CD/DVD set recorded in Birmingham, England on October 30, 2014, which captures the raw energy of their live show. 

Current Lineup:

Jon Lawhon - bass
Chris Robertson - vocals, guitar
Ben Wells - guitar
John Fred Young - drums

Key Black Stone Cherry Songs:

“Rain Wizard” 
“Please Come In” 


Black Stone Cherry (2006)
Folklore and Superstition (2008)
Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea (2011)
Magic Mountain (2014)
Thank You: Living Live (2015 Live CD/DVD set) 

Black Stone Cherry Quotes:

Jon Lawhon, on how the band members write songs.
"It's a collaboration kind of deal. One guy will come in - it doesn't matter who - one guy will come in and say, 'Man, I got this piece for the song.' If one guy writes an entire song and comes in with it, it ain't the same when it's done. We tear it apart and it becomes Black Stone Cherry." (, November 9, 2006)

Ben Wells, on career aspirations.
"I guess before we go, it would be awesome to play with Aerosmith or the Stones. That's two of the remaining bands that we look up to, 'cause Led Zeppelin and the Beatles aren't around anymore." (, November 9, 2006)

Jon Lawhon, on his hobbies.
"I work with wood a lot. The last time I was home, I built a TV stand for myself. When I was 12 years old, my uncle started showing me how to frame walls and stuff like that. By the time I was 15 or 16 years old, I fell in love with finish work, building furniture. Eventually when I have some spare time, I'm going to buy all the proper tools to build myself my own bass guitar, which I think would be really cool." (Detroit Music Notes, 2007)

Black Stone Cherry Trivia:

  • Drummer John Fred Young is the son of Kentucky Headhunters guitarist Richard Young. He was one of the producers on Black Stone Cherry and was the executive producer of Folklore and Superstition.
  • Black Stone Cherry have toured with Buckcherry, Hinder and Staind.
  • John Fred Young and Chris Robertson have known each other since kindergarten.
  • On June 3, 2001, the band members met guitarist Ben Wells. They officially became Black Stone Cherry the next day.
  • The band got their name from Blackstone Cigars, which come in different flavors, including cherry.

(Edited by Bob Schallau)