THE BLACK CROWES FACTS
Genre: Blues Rock, Hard Rock, Southern Rock, Jam Rock
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia.
Albums: Shake Your Money Maker (1990), The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (1992), Amorica (1994), Three Snakes and One Charm (1996), By Your Side (1999), Lions (2001), Warpaint (2008), Before the Frost...Until the Freeze (2009) and Croweology (2010).
Awards: 1 Grammy Award, 3 MTV Video Music Awards.
Hits: "Hard to Handle," "She Talks to Angels," "Jealous Again," "Twice As Hard," "Thorn In My Pride," "Remedy," "Blackberry," "Kickin' My Heart Around."
Other: The band was originally called Mr. Crowe's Garden, which was taken by another punk band, so the members opted for The Black Crowes.
The Black Crowes were formed in 1984 by brothers Chris Robinson (vocals) and Rich Robinson (lead guitar) and began touring in small clubs and theatres throughout the decade. In 1990, the group released its first album, Shake Your Money Maker, which became a major commercial success. The album climbed all the way to No.4 on the U.S. charts and featured the hit singles "She Talks To Angels," "Jealous Again" and "Hard to Handle."
The Black Crowes rode their wave of popularity into a variety of huge tours in the United States, Europe and all around the world, which helped gain momentum for their second release, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. Although the album debuted at No.1 on Billboard's pop albums chart, the record did not yield very successful singles, although "Thorn In My Pride" and "Remedy" remain favorites among The Black Crowes fans. In 1994, the band released Amorica, which climbed to No. 11 on the charts.
In 1999, The Black Crowes got in touch with their roots and what made them successful in the first place with the well-received record By Your Side. The album's single, "Kicking My Heart Around," was the group's most successful in years and launched a series of major tour dates, including the famed concerts performed at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre with Led Zeppelin guitar legend Jimmy Page.
After the release of Lions in 2001, The Black Crowes went on a major hiatus as band members explored a series of side projects and solo albums. Finally, in the late 2000s, the group got back together and released three more albums: Warpaint (2008), Before the Frost...Until the Freeze (2009) and Croweology (2010).
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The Black Crowes rock Stubbs BBQ The Black Crowes rolled into Stubbs BBQ on their "Goodnight to the Bad Guys" tour on Saturday night and left Austin with a rock 'n' roll show to remember while the band is on hiatus in 2011. The show was billed as an "evening with," which was supposed to include an acoustic set followed by an electric set. The acoustic set never materialized for some reason, as the band came out electric and just rocked one long set of an hour and 45 minutes, followed by an extended encore. But it was a festive affair from the start as they opened with a one-two punch of Traffic's "Feelin' Alright," followed by their familiar cover of Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle." Singer Chris Robinson was in fine form, appearing to be in an excellent mood. The band then proceeded into several deep cuts which weren't so familiar to most of the audience, but which shined nonetheless, with guitarist Luther Dickinson dazzling on slide during "Show Me." Rich Robinson impressed on both lead vocals and lead guitar during "Isn't It About Time," before the band returned to familiar territory with their classic blues ballad, "Seeing Things For the First Time." Bassist Sven Pipien broke out his fabulous sounding Rickenbacker bass for "Ballad in Urgency," where he and drummer Steve Gorman pushed the show into overdrive on the song's exploratory jam. The guitar duo of Rich Robinson and Dickinson created psychedelic magic here, and the crowd roared as the crescendo of the jam gave way to "Wiser Time." This timeless Crowes tune included another crowd-pleasing psychedelic jam, starting spacey before evolving into full rock power. The Crowes were riding a powerful wave now, following with the hard-rocking hallelujah of "Morning Song" and the majestic "Soul Singing," where the band's female backing vocalists joined with the Robinson brothers to form a heavenly choir. "Remedy" electrified the night as well, before the band closed the set with their epic jam vehicle, "Thorn in My Pride." One part of the jam recalled the Rolling Stones' "Midnight Rambler," before giving way to the melodic breakdown where keyboardist Adam MacDougall's delicate piano soothed the souls of all who bent their ear to hear the tune. The encore featured a guest appearance from keyboardist Ian McLagan from The Faces, for "You're So Rude" and "Glad and Sorry," both pleasing to blues purists. Some in the crowd still yearned for a hit like "Jealous Again" or "She Talks to Angels," but serious music fans got something even better. Local scenester Gordi Johnson sat in on guitar for "Poor Elijah/Tribute to Johnson." Johnson and Dickinson threw down sweet melodic licks that recalled the best of the Allman Brothers Band on a stellar bluesy funk jam that rocked out in glorious, extended fashion. Most of the crowd danced in delight, though a few sour lemons still complained at the end that they didn't get a hit song in the encore. These apparently casual fans seemed not to understand that the Black Crowes don't play the same set every night, thus making each show a musical adventure. This pioneering spirit is what has made them one of the best bands in rock 'n' roll for the past 20 years, and the adventurous quality was on display throughout the evening. Fans are advised to catch the Black Crowes here in the fall of 2010, as no one knows when the band will play again after the tour's final shows at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium in December. September 27, 2010