Folk’s here’s Part Deux of mine and Mikey’s Double Crowes Header! Click the link below for Mikey’s slamming spin on this Classic!
REVIEW: The Black Crowes – The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (remastered)
Don’t you just love the cover of this album? I sure as hell do! It’s basically the Crowes hanging out in a dump like setting so for all the wham bam Poison like happy 80’s bands trying to scrape by with any smudge of success in the early 90s The Black Crowes are basically about to stomp you out!
Nothing happy around these parts folks..move on but before you do. Dig into the grooves of this album! An absolute scorcher and in my mind (anyways) a 360 degree turn from the Hard Blues Stones like Rock of the debut (Shake Your Money Maker) from two years before!
Southern Harmony is an album of “We don’t give a F**K” we will do what we wanna do!” This album registers on all levels of that previous statement! No real radio tailor-made singles. No sir! Just plug-in and let it rip and through all its 10 songs 50 minutes of music. The co writes between vocalist Chris Robinson and his brother, guitarist Rich Robinson are brilliant put together pieces of music without worrying about what would make it to the radio.
One big change was in the 6 string dept as Jeff Cease got his marching papers and in comes Marc Ford. The rest of the Crowes still remained intact and that would be Johnny Colt(Bass),Steve Gorman(Drummer) & Eddie Harsch(Keyboards)
You could sense these guys were already graduates from the we don’t give a shit what anyone think’s thought of school. Fair enough…
Sting Me opens the proceedings and the Crowes are a flying as this is a straight ahead rocker. “If you feel a riot that don’t deny it” sings Chris and were off. Nice tidy like drumming by Gorman who as always does keeps the Crowes beat moving forward. This tune has a live like feel and even the Keyboards are mixed right. Great opener!
Ok. Remedy dropped as a single before the album landed in the shops and all I will say is “This is such a Friggin great Rock Track!” Whether from 1992 or 2017 it is amped and loaded. When i first heard this song I was blown away at the power of it. Just no fooling around B.S and Remedy was holding its own as the Seattle Grungeaholics were trying to wipe all kinds of rock from the map. Kinda like a hostile takeover but the Crowes were having none of that. Heads down in the trenches boys and Chris and Rich cook us all up a Remedy! With Gorman smashing about his symbols the guitars just lift this track right off! Still one of my all time fav-o rock tracks.
Thorn In My Pride is 6 minutes of a jam o ram workout. It’s all here. Chill vibe that ramps up with a snazzy driven keyboard line after the fuzzy distorted guitar solo. Chris battles “Devils/Angels” Hmmm is this about his brother Rich? hahaha….
Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye starts off with Gorman clicking his sticks with the count in as someone chirps about “Weed” beforehand. Bad Ass Rock Hippies! This song has a different vibe. Real chill verses. The chorus wakes up a bit which features the ladies on the background vocals. See that’s the thing I love about this album is that Crowes just jam out tunes that are pushing the envelope of doing what they wanted. Great chorus!
Sometimes Salvation. Marc Ford has the distinction of being in my all time Top 10 for the fuzzed out supersonic slip n slide distorted solo that is an absolute beast on this track. The first time I heard this tune on my first listen I went back to the solo it’s so freaking good! Sometimes Salvation has that great drum/lead vocal kick that to me along with the solo is like me scrapping around looking for a fix! A fix of Rock! I have always liked this video as Chris just gives er in the lead vocal department especially when he’s bellowing “Sister do you wanna find me?” Deep man…
Hotel Illness has a Stones like opening featuring some cool percussion and harp to lead off the proceedings. Nice smooth vocal and I like how the Crowes mix it up between vocal/harp on the first verse and shift to vocal/guitar leads on the second verse.
More harmonica on Black Moon Creeping. BMC is another great track as the Crowes do all the trimmings on this song. A sleazy like groove during the verse and Boom comes the chorus where it goes up one notch and thats due to Gorman and his drums!
The tour opener for the 92/93 tour that touched down in Tbay. No Speak No Slave has a real cool groove love the riffage of the guitars during the chorus. The song just ploughs forward with Colt playing his bass and just being locked and loaded with Gorman while Rich and Marc just jam all out over the map. Chris just bellows and howls and asks ‘Do you wanna be heard?’ Yes I Do! A rip snorting track that goes all bonkers at the end!
My Morning Song is another jam like workout. Tons of slide action from the guitars. No fooling around with a straight ahead rock track Crowesfried just how we likey! Chris man sounds like he’s about to go hoarse on this song and kudos to these guys for just leaving as is alone!
Time Will Tell is a Bob Marley cover that closes up shop on this album. The Black Crowes become Bob Crowes and basically keep the reggae like beat but with keeping an edge on it.
What can you say about this album?
Considering the Betty Crocker Baked Oven was on full throttle for this album these guys knew what they were doing.
To my listening ears this is a complete left turn from the debut. This album reeks of nastiness(the seedier side of life)but in a complimentary way. No radio like hits. A killer live off the floor recording that no one back in 92 was doing or for that matter is doing now.
The vocals/musicianship the crafting of the songs by the Robinson Brothers was at an all time creative peak here. I bought into the Crowes but after this album it was hit or miss with their stuff for my liking…
All time great here!