The Black Crowes (L-R): Steve Gorman, Rich Robinson, Chris Robinson, Jackie Greene, Sven Pipien and Adam MacDougall. Photo by Ross Halfin.
By Brian M. Howle
There is an undeniable bond between brothers, as any mix of male siblings will attest; and sometimes the best you can hope for is, well, a minimum of carnage or fallout.
And other times – as in this case – regardless of how smooth or bumpy the road has been, the world is blessed with a resulting collaboration (along with some very talented friends) which gives us all a plethora of good times, good quotes and – best of all – good music.
Thankfully, those of us along the Grand Strand can all be witness to the latter. Because pound for pound (or oz. for oz., depending on your stash), one of the best bands to ever hit a studio or stage; the pride of our southern bordering neighbor, Georgia; the clarions of born-again hippies – The Black Crowes – are once again coming to grace the stage at House Of Blues in North Myrtle Beach on Sunday, May 19.
The iconic and influential rock band released their first-ever double album of all acoustic materials, Croweology, in 2010 before taking an extended hiatus to recharge and refresh the band, and currently have returned to the road in 2013 with their “Lay Down with Number 13” world tour,which includes a stop along the shore at our fair little town. The trek launched with five sold-out U.K. shows and and is now in progress in the U.S., continuing through June 2. After that, the band will return to Europe for a leg of dates June 18 to July 6, including headlining shows, festivals and two stadium concerts with Bruce Springsteen.
The Black Crowes – Chris Robinson (lead vocals, guitar), Rich Robinson (guitar, vocals), Steve Gorman (drums), Sven Pipien (bass), Adam MacDougall (keyboards) and new member Jackie Greene (guitar, vocals)–will reach deep inside their songbook and extensive catalog, performing greatly varied set lists. And leading into the tour, the iconic and influential band have just released the live collection, Wiser For The Time (Silver Arrow/Megaforce Records) on March 19. Its mammoth eight sides on four vinyl albums contains 26 songs–15 acoustic and 11 electric–from the band’s five-night, sold-out NYC performances in the fall of 2010. These never-released-before versions are also available as a double album digital download. The band’s cover of Bob Dylan’s classic “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” was exclusively premiered on RollingStone.com on March 4 and can be heard at the link below. The full track listing for the collection can be found at www.blackcrowes.com
Click here to listen to “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” on RollingStone.com: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-black-crowes-cover-tonight-ill-be-staying-here-with-you-song-premiere-20130304
The Black Crowes have sold over 20 million albums and are known as one of rock’s best live acts. They have been called “The Most Rock n’ Roll Rock ‘n’ Roll Band In the World” and a “thoroughbred American rock ‘n’ freakin’ roll band”; their panoramic live shows feature alternating set lists and signature incendiary musical explorations. In 2010, they were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall Of Fame at the 32ndAnnual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards Show. Also in 2010, they commemorated the 20th anniversary of their landmark multi-platinum debut, 1990′s Shake Your Moneymaker, with Croweology (Silver Arrow/Megaforce Records), their acclaimed first-ever double album of all-acoustic material with new arrangements of their best-loved songs and deep cuts. Produced by Paul Stacey, Croweology gives listeners an intimate retrospective, stripping away these fan and band favorites like “Jealous Again,” “Remedy,” “She Talks to Angels” and “Wiser Time” to their very essence through brand new recordings captured in 2009 at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles.
Right from their start in 1990 – with their six million-selling Shake Your Money Maker, a pivotal work that kick started an authentic style of rock and roll in America – The Black Crowes have been at odds with prevailing commercial trends. Their heady mix of ‘70s inflected rock, Funkadelic soul and heartfelt roots music jostled against the hair metal and high-gloss pop getting airplay at the start of that decade. While the sheer attitude and charm of “Hard To Handle” and “Twice As Hard” managed to make waves, the intervening years have seen the band steadily evolve an increasingly refined, singular sound that takes the best parts of hard rock, gospel, country, psychedelia and anything else it fancies into their hungry maw to create something several light years beyond the young men who recorded “She Talks To Angels.”
And it didn’t hurt that the band caught the ear (and eye) of late night icon David Letterman, who showcased The Black Crowes prominently on then-NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman, propelling the band into mainstream America as a compliment to the already raging FM play the band was receiving on the campuses of colleges across the nation. After Letterman switched to CBS, The Black Crowes have continued to make appearances to the delight of the host and nation alike.
“Even in our most commercially successful period,” says Chris, “there was nothing like us on any format. By the time grunge happened, Southern Harmony (1992) and amorica (1994) didn’t fit into any part of popular music. We looked different, we sounded different, and we set up our culture a little different,” he adds. “Everybody who wanted to bag us because they thought they knew what we were missed out on a lot of good music, good concerts and a band that, even at our weirdest, had something to say.”
The Black Crowes not only had something to say; they became known as as one of rock’s best live acts and have been called a “thoroughbred American rock ‘n’ freakin’ roll band.” Their panoramic live shows feature alternating set lists and signature incendiary musical explorations that are designed to take audiences on a journey.
The band took a break starting in late 2001 which turned out to be a four-year-hiatus. Then, on January 11, 2005, The Black Crowes announced their highly anticipated and long-awaited return to the live concert stage with five special shows at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom (March 22-30, 2005). All five concerts – billed by brothers Chris and Rich Robinson as ‘’All Join Hands” – sold out instantly, marking the fastest New York sell-out that The Black Crowes have experienced to date. To meet the absolutely overwhelming fan demand, two more shows were added at Hammerstein. And those sold out. Total tickets sold in New York City: 22,000. Clearly, The Black Crowes were back.
Since then, the touring dynamos have explored their extensive catalog on main stages from Bonnaroo to the Voodoo Music Experience to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, celebrating nearly two decades of “Cosmic Rock-n-Roll” in front of sold-out audiences everywhere. The Black Crowes are one of the few acts to emerge in the early ‘90s still thriving today. And fewer still can claim to have shared the stage with Jimmy Page, AC/DC, Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young and The Who. Like these legends, The Black Crowes create music that endures because it speaks to more than momentary concerns – and now, they are once again touring the world, bringing their Freak N’ Roll to the devoted fans that have embraced them. As always, The Black Crowes continue to do things their own way.
On a personal note, I have had the great fortune and pleasure to have attended every appearance by these boys at HOB over past 12-plus years, and as anyone who has attended will concur, they consistently rank in the Top 10 shows EVER at House Of Blues. Only, in all honesty, it’s not really a concert. It’s more like having the preeminent R&R band in America perform in your living room, their playlist is more of a veritable snapshot of the past 25 years of your life than a concert.
So strap on your earth shoes, slide on your bell bottoms and best silk hippie shirts and blouses, and watch the clock to make sure to toast 4:20: ‘Cause one of the best bands ever to be born 20 years too late – The Black Crowes – will smoke the House Of Blues at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, SC, on Sunday, May 19. Tickets are $39.50 in Advance; $42.50 Day of Show. Doors open 7:30 p.m. For info call 843-272-3000; for tickets call 1-877-598-8497; or visit http://www.livenation.com .
Beyond This Show:
As The Black Crowes and Tedeschi Trucks Band continue their own spring tours, they’re excited about their recently announced co-headlining summer tour of outdoor venues along with special guests The London Souls. It runs July 19 in Nashville, TN through August 15 in Rochester Hills, MI.
And on May 9, Tedeschi Trucks Band took home three awards at the Blues Music Awards: Best Band, Best Rock Blues Album (Everybody’s Talkin’) and Best Guitarist!
“We’ve been fortunate to be able to tour with many great bands in our career including Jimmy Page, The Stones, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Who, Tom Petty and Oasis,” says The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson. “This tour will be just as exciting for us. I was able to see Derek and Susan recently and was blown away. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this summer tour will unfold and what surprises happen.” Chris Robinson says, “We’re over the moon not only to be playing with stellar musicians but the fact that Susan and Derek are friends makes our summer run that much more fulfilling.”
“It’s going to be great to be out with the Crowes this summer–both bands are road-tested and shoot from the hip,” says Derek Trucks of Tedeschi Trucks Band. “It should be a hell of a tour.” His wife Susan Tedeschi agrees: “The whole band is really looking forward to the summer tour. We’re excited to work in some new songs from our upcoming album. I’ve been a longtime fan of the Crowes and think our bands are going to have a blast touring together. “
Tedeschi Trucks Band, the 11-piece ensemble led by husband-wife team Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, have proven themselves one of the hottest, most uplifting acts on the road today. Formed in 2010 when Derek and Susan decided to set aside their successful solo careers and join forces, Tedeschi Trucks Band delivers a hearty roots-rich musical mix fronted by Trucks’ signature slide guitar sound and Tedeschi’s pliant, honey-to-husk voice. With a repertoire that includes its Grammy-winning debut Revelator and dynamic live follow-up Everybody’s Talkin’, the band kicked off 2013 in the studio to record their second studio album, set for release in late summer. They recently wrapped up five shows in Australia and are back on tour in the U.S. this spring before launching the summer tour.
Here is the itinerary for THE BLACK CROWES/TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND with The London Souls tour. Tickets for all shows are on sale now, except Nashville which goes on sale April 26 at 10:00 AM Central.
||The Woods Amphitheatre at Fontanel
||Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
||Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre
||Red Hat Amphitheatre
||Bank of America Pavilion
||PNC Bank Arts Center
||Nikon at Jones Beach
||Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn @ White River
||Charter One Pavilion
||Rochester Hills, MI
This article also appears at www.myrtlebeachalternatives.com