we met Kirk West, former ABB tour manager, who also happens to be a very good friend of Johan Dollekamp, the local “PopEye” record store owner in Hengelo, Netherlands. It was fantastic to see Kirk’s face when I asked him if he knew Johan. Johnny Southbound, sure, a very big smile on his face. Awesome. I had a very special day with some brothers and sis- ters. We live in a small world where music binds. Herschel, thank you for this fantastic day!

The days following, I spend some time

with my Aussie sister Renata, had lots of fun at the Vortex with Renata and Andrea, met our merch king Eric at The Varsity and after having a short meal he drove me around and showed me a bit of Atlanta, showed me Merch mountain HQ. Fun days in Atlanta! The night before my flight home Andrea took me to the illuminated gardens. Beautiful! Brothers and sisters, this is what family is about. Thank y’all for giving me an awesome week in Atlanta. Blackberry Smoke is the glue in this brother- and sisterhood. I’ll be back for sure!”

-Henry Bos, Holland

Ed. Note: Henry, I was smiling as I read your review. Johan (aka Johnny South- bound) and I have been friends since pre-in- ternet days. Around 1980 Pen pals as it were. We have yet to meet but are still broth- ers! Pop Eye even sells my music! Small world huh? -Buffalo

“This past Tabernacle show was my third, and each year it gets better and better, if that is possible. It is the most fun day of the year hanging out with all the brothers and sisters. I always try to get there at lunchtime and it is never early enough, I always find myself wishing for more time before the show starts. If I could only go to one show a year I would choose the homecoming show on Black Fri-

day. There is something magical about the day and the show at the end is the icing on the cake.”

-Gayla Long, Georgia

Ralph and his wife backstage with the Black Bettys.

(Photo Courtesy Ralph George)

“We come from a little seaside town in the UK called South Shields. We first got to see BBS in Manchester in Oct 2014. Hooked after that. Been to Orlando, Barcelona, Scotland, Ten- nessee, Outlaw Country Cruise II, Dublin and loads of local concerts to follow this band. Did the Tabby last year and had to do it again. It’s not just the great music, but the guys are so friendly. Always have time to chat. And the brothers and sisters. Met so many life-long friends from all over the world; Spain; Hol- land; Brazil; and many more. Everyone makes you feel at home. This year’s Tabby was my last BBS gig of 2018 ending a run of five shows in November. Took our little 8- year-old granddaughter Ruby to her first two BBS shows as well. The Tabby is the show of all shows, nearly three hours of the best tunes in a fantastic venue. So many lovely people. It may have been cold outside but inside it was Smoking. We have two concerts planned for next year. Berlin and the Shed again.”

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