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Blackberry Smoke's "Let Me Down Easy": Song Premiere

Sandwiched between the straight-ahead, take-no-prisoners rockers “Lord Strike Me Dead” and “Nobody Gives a Damn” on Blackberry Smoke’s new album Find a Light, “Let Me Down Easy” appears as a palate cleanser, a soft, folksy ballad about love lost. The opening acoustic guitar takes a phrase from America’s “Lonely People,” weaving it around the propulsive rhythms of Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah’s “Lake Shore Drive.” Amanda Shires lends her harmony vocals to the chorus on this tune about the wisdom of letting go of love but the pain that comes on in the midst of learning to let go and live without this love. The chorus is a plea for gentleness: “Let me down easy if you can/I’m not half as strong as you think I am/I guess I’ll try to take it like a man/Let me down easy if you can.” The ironic mournfulness of the song is enhanced on the bridge by a dolorous Dobro riff that recalls “The Ballad of Curtis Loew.”

 

Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr reflects on the song: “I wrote ‘Let Me Down Easy’ with my old buddy, Keith Nelson. We really wanted a cool female voice on it. I thought it would be really cool to have a female harmony on this song, sort of a Gram Parsons-Emmylou Harris kind of thing, and Amanda came to mind. Amanda Shires most definitely has a cool voice. She sings beautifully on it.”