Black Stone Cherry was founded in 2001 by guitarist and lead vocalist Chris Robertson and John Fred Young, drummer and backing vocalist, who were long-time friends. Joining forces with Ben Wells on rhythm and lead guitars and Jon Lawhon on bass guitar, the band started out by playing gigs in their local town of Edmonton, Kentucky. John Fred Young is the son of rhythm guitarist Richard Young from the Grammy Award-winning band The Kentucky Headhunters, which Black Stone Cherry cite as one of their earliest influences, along with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Muddy Waters and Cream. In their early days the band rehearsed and wrote in the same farmhouse that The Kentucky Headhunters had used as rehearsal space. The band quickly gained a following for their live shows in their home state of Kentucky, and by 2005 they were signed to Roadrunner Records. The band released their first eponymously titled album in 2006 and were given a huge welcome back at their home town, where they performed for over 1500 fans. A live album recorded at London's Astoria in October 2007 was produced to mark the final show of their first international tour and was released in a limited edition of just 1,000 copies. In the same year the band won an award for Best New Band at the London Classic Rock Awards. It is their tours for which the band is best known. An arena tour of the UK and Ireland in 2008 saw them take to the stage with Whitesnake and Def Leppard, with Black Stone Cherry as the opening act. May 2009 saw the band supporting Nickelback on the European leg of their Dark Horse Tour. They have supported Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company and were the headline act at the 2013 Download Festival.