Tag Archives: Chris Robinson

The Black Crowes/The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion(1992)

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?

Well…

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!

 

 

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The Black Crowes/Shake Your Money Maker(1990)

 

HEY FOLK’S… This week it’s a couple of Black Crowes reviews that are on tap and Mikey Ladano is onboard as well with a couple of reviews of the same album over at his site. In other words it’s “DOUBLEHEADER TIME”.. Click the link below/pour yourself a beverage of your choice and enjoy some fine reading…

REVIEW: The Black Crowes – Shake Your Money Maker (remastered)

You know Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell  who played the   Ivories on Shake Your Money Maker must have told his bosses Mick & Keef about the Black Crowes. Wonder if the Glimmer Twins heard this album before it hit the streets for mass consumption back in January 1990?

If so I betcha Keef lost his shit when he heard that opening riff of Stare It Cold as Crowes guitarists Rich Robinson and Jeff Cease sound like a jacked up version of Richards/Wood? That opening riff has so much muscle…Ok I’m getting way ahead here ….

So It was the release of this album I came across in one of my weekly jaunts to the record store(Jan/90) and came across SYMM on CD in the new release bin.

It easily caught my attention as these 5 dudes on the cover looked rock and well it was a no brainer and I got money in my pocket burnin a hole so there ya go! (wish I could say that now!) I think I may have seen a bit of promotion in the magazines about this disc but it was little…Boy would that change in a few months!

My first impression on listening to Money Maker was how Stonesy like it was. I read later in reviews as well that it had an element of The Faces but I can’t really comment as I’m not a Faces fan…so we go with the Stones vibe but with a more amped up sound!

George Drakoulias captures the sound of the Crowes brilliantly on the debut and funny thing was when this album took off Rick Rubins name was added as co producer as Rubin owned the label but had really nothing to do with the production of this album which irked singer Chris Robinson.  Actually you have to hand it to Chris as once this album started moving units The Crowes were invited to open for ZZ Top but once Chris started saying that it sucked that some bands needed corporate sponsorship  to promote a tour( ZZ was sponsored by Miller Beer for their 1990-91 Tour. I can back Chris up as when I caught this tour the ZZ shirt underneath the Tour dates on the back had Miller as a sponsor. Kinda irked me but hey I’m the ding-dong who bought the T in the first place!) The Crowes were punted off the ZZ tour. ZZ canned em in Atlanta (Crowes turf)

Twice As Hard opens the album and from the outset you know this badboy is gonna be jammed with bunch of Riffs and a ton of Rolls! Cease and Rich drive forward with there playing and drummer Steve Gorman keeps the Crowes movin along. Chris has a bit of a southern rasp in his voice which is quite frankly Awesome. Real good put together straight ahead opening tune!

Wow man did this song take off eh? Jealous Again is track 2 and once again it’s a riff that starts the track. This is the tune I betcha Keef would say he wish he had written! The guitars play almost in a chill like vibe and ramp up with that Stonesy vibe during the chorus!

Sister Luck. Plain and simple another real slick like track. Jeff and Rich inner channel once again Keef/Ronnie and this song just drifts along and Chris sings it perfectly. Awesome Chorus!

Could I Have Been So Blind kicks the doors off its hinges with a super-duper coolness and its the Crowes taking the party and moving on.

Seeing Things is a great track! Seeing things for the first time! It may take a while as Chris lyrics say but it will be more evident as time passes on! Gorman keeps the train a moving so this track doesn’t dip into Sapville! JellyFish!

Gorman lays down the groove and were off with Hard To Handle (Otis Redding Cover) and this song was everywhere in the Summer of 91. Great beat played but the fella’s and I like that little snippet of when the tempo picks up right before the verse! Pretty cool Crowes on the road video that was shot of the Crowes to plug this tune!

Got a chainsaw buzzin’/Who’s that cussin’? and this is the opening line to the fantastic Thick N Thin! Clocking in at 2 minutes 44 seconds and it’s the Crowes rolling  up with plenty of riffs n spiffs and along with Colts bass line and Steve driving the drums this track is a scorcher. Cease and Rich’s guitars are fired  up on this album.

She Talks To Angels features the acoustic guitars that are in the forefront and its the Crowes spreading there wings and the track must be about a long-lost friend who succumbed to addictions. This track was a big single as well.

Struttin Blues another straight ahead rocker that features a nice Hammond Organ rocking along with the boys. 4 on the Floor stomper of a track!

Remember about what I had written in the first paragraph of this review about being jacked up with a cool riff that Keef and Ronnie would and wish they could devour? This is indeed time for Stare It Cold. Big and I mean Big riffs along with Gorman snare drum that sounds like a shot being fired along with the big Bass drum propel this tune into utter coolness! This is one of the Crowes finest tracks I have ever heard! Love the Verses/Chorus/Solo’s and cue end of song crazy jam out mashup of everyone including Chris whose about to unravel at the speed of the song. Whooooosh! So good, that opening riff is pure gold! My CD has some creep out eery what the hell it is tied to the end of this track…hahaha…Silly Crowes …

When you talk about killer debut albums in the rock spectre SYMM has to be included as there are no dud’s on this album. I’m sure these songs were built from the rehearsal space into the bar stages and into the recording studio where the sonics captured the rest!

The playing on this record is infectious. Must make note of the guitars of Robinson and Cease. They intertwine each other so well and of course when this tour wrapped up Cease got the heave-ho to be replaced by Marc Ford. Shame really for Cease as everyone loses their shit over Ford and his playing on the follow-up to Moneymaker(myself included) but give it up for him. Hell I would think this is the best-selling album in the Crowes catalogue so that’s gotta stand for something correct?

Check back round these parts this upcoming Friday when myself and Mikey drop down another review….

Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes/Live At The Greek(2000)

 

Will they or won’t they?  That is the question that is always asked about Led Zeppelin reuniting for shows or a tour since when? Pretty much a  week after Zep Drummer John Bonham passed away back in December of 1980.

Course Zep did the Live reunion album Celebration Day back in 2007 with Bonham’s son on the drums Jason. 

For me though personally If it was to happen the drum stool should be filled by Black Crowes Drummer Steve Gorman!

Let’s rewind a bit back here….

Zep Singer Robert Plant I think maybe not so much now but I recall back around 1990 or so when Robert released the great Manic Nirvana album that year. It was announced that Plant was going to be playing a bunch of Canadian Dates with Winnipeg Manitoba being one of those dates around late September or so.

To get to Winnipeg from Thunder Bay is a 8-9 hour car ride. There is a true story floating around this site that Tbone got us to Winnipeg in just over 5  hours!(True Story)…

Anyhoo….

Myself and Tbone had a decision to make as ZZ Top was in Winnipeg as well around the first part of October.  We decided to skip Plant’s show and go and see ZZ!(review of that show you can find on this site).

Our reasoning was with the massive 4 CD Zep Box set coming out before Christmas that year surely Plant/Jimmy Page/John Paul Jones would rake in a huge total dough payout and play the 50,000 seaters in 1991 right?

Wrong-o! Course it did not happen and Page got frustrated and recorded the pretty cool Coverdale/Page album which irked Plant who just kept doing his solo stuff and so it went….

Gonna happen/Not gonna….until the one-off in 2007…

Too be honest I hope it never happens now but back in the early 90’s I was all for it!

Which leads to this …

So Jimmy takes his Sunburst Gibson Les Paul and hooks up with everyone’s favourite Weed Heads Chris & Rich Robinson along with Steve-o on the Drums/Sven Pipien on Bass/Eddie Harsch (RIP) on keyboards and Audley Freed on guitar.

What you get here is Jimmy and the Crowes covering 13 Zep Tracks and 7 covers over a double disc.

This is a fantastic live album and hey great job by producer Kevin Shirley to mix the three guitars and making it sound cool and distinct!

Celebration Day opens the disc and Gorman flexes his rock muscle on those drums. Steve plays flawlessly throughout the album. Sick Again and the Lemon Song feature some real powerful smashing the skins but Gorman keeps himself in check. He’s a monster live and I can say that as when the Crowes showed up in Tbay back in 93. Gorman played the whole set on a small set of drums with his slick combed back hair,tailored suit and shades! Basically he looked like he just came out of some high-rise  Wall Street building but  keeps an ass kicking beat behind the Robinson Bro’s!

Chris vocally is on the money as well. Taking the gig seriously as well as he should as  he’s singing Plants lyrics! One of Chris’s best vocals is the classic Zep track Hey Hey What Can I Do. That is what is cool about this is at the time there was not too much official Zep Live stuff floating around(of course now there’s all those BBC Sessions and another Box set that was all live stuff). Another highlight is Custard Pie.

A ton of Zep songs are dialed in by these guys and kudos to the Crowes as their music chops are tight on this release. Page flings his brilliance with a nice added touch of the guitars from Rich and Audley never getting in the way.

Some covers as well like Shapes Of Things To Come/Shake Your Money Maker and Tbone’s favourite Sloppy Drunk are CroweFried!

Kudos to Slim Jim as he amped back up along with some Crowes and they  deliver a great live souvenir

 

SONIC WAVES…Black Crowes/Stare It Cold (Live At The Greek 1991)

 

 

 

 

I bought this on iTunes as soon as I spotted it. Too me it seems like a bootleg and its on iTunes ? Hell has frozen over! I know there’s a lot of Crowes lovers out there but for me I really dug there first two and even though I continued to purchase their other releases (By Your Side was another fav) this early era of the band is my fav and these guys at the time of this recording  sounds like it’s at the tail end of there Moneymaker tour and by golly I think it’s safe to say they made a ton of dough by the end of 91!

The other cool thing about this release is it features Jeff Cease who was booted shortly after  the Moneymaker tour and replaced by Marc Ford. The Crowes here are on fire and yep this is from the Greek in LA but this is not the release the Crowes did with Jimmy Page a few years later.

Lets check out the Crowes as there on fire here……

The Crowes take to the stage with Shake Your Moneymaker piping thru the speakers and some dude unloads into the mic telling all of us that ‘ no gets out of this rock n roll alive” …and the band opens with,

TWICE AS HARD- Chris and Rich Robinson start the night off and there already in party mode and the band is kicking it along. Cool guitars and for me I love these kind of Crowes tunes! You know the Ol philosophy ‘don’t bore us get to the chorus ‘ this my friends is rock n roll!

THICK N THIN- Ha! I love this chainsaw buzzing tune. It’s snappy and Steve Gorman pounds the drums into the ground on this. It’s also a gas to hear just dudes doing the backing vocals this is stripped down Crowes kinda like there riding in the back of a pick up truck with rifles loaded looking for the band Poison!

STARE IT COLD- Boom….Robinson/Cease guitars along with Gormans bass drum lead off this track and Eddie Harsh makes the keys sound cool on this recording and the Crowes remind me every time I hear this what a great band they are. Of course at the end the band goes into overdrive and end the song at a 100 mph. Just how I like the rock!

SEEING THINGS- Chris tells us that this song is about assholes and you finally figuring it out in other words Seeing Things and this tune they do bring out the ladies to do the backing vocals so from here I can see the direction they are headed in. Great song performed live!

SISTER LUCK- Chris goes on about a buddy of his who’s bummed out. Chris asks why and his buddy tells him he has joined the police force! Hahaha….no more hemp for Chris’s buddy and this Song has the whole Stones vibe down. Keys and  the guitars carry this tune to infinity and beyond!

HARD TO HANDLE-Gorman kicks off the song which was one tune that ruled the air and video waves back in the summer of 91! Cool tune even if it’s a cover and the Crowes  make it their own. Great solo by Cease.

COULD I HAVE BEEN SO BLIND-Goes to show ya why I love the early Crowes and why I really dig this record. This like many others has some cool playing and it’s basically a Crowes like tornado headed your way!

SHAKE EM ON DOWN-Is a 14 minute jam and on this cover tune you get two covers one is obviously Shake em and the other is Get Back by the Beatles and man the Crowes just zone out and let it roll (literally)…I can see where a few years later when I caught em live that they ditched the short rock and went into jams ville  and never have left. Also of note I think a buddy from way back had a Japanese copy of Southern Harmony and it had this tune on it. I could be wrong though…..

SHE TALKS TO ANGELS- Holy crap that debut was deep into hits and here’s another biggie with Robinson/Cease carrying the tune. Man,one well written tune that has stood the test of time!

DREAMS-Is another cover (Allman Brothers) and its a good track. I have never heard the original but I’m sure it’s good but for me the Black Crowes like they do on other covers Crowesize it! This is  8 minute jam so between this and Shake Em that’s over 20 minutes of Jam time. Lots of time to get fizzled in the crowd with party treats if you were present at this show!

JEALOUS AGAIN- The biggie track from Shake Your Money Maker. The opening riff is classic Keef and Mick Taylor circa Exile On Main Street! The song is a friggin fantastic  and the one that put the Crowes on the map to stay. This is a well performed song. Just classic Crowes……

IN CONCLUSION- Kudos to ITunes for adding this show which I believe was a FM broadcast that has been bootlegged and for that the sound is mint the band is mint and the crowd is fried! Ha! This is worth the $9.99 I paid! Great band and you can see how they were headed into longer live jams basically they were taking it to their level and not by what  the suit and ties had to say!

Pick this Up for some straight ahead Live Rock,no frills,no studio trickery…..

Like the dude that intros the Crowes to the stage and says “No One Gets Out Of This Rock N Roll Alive!”

Absolutely Dude Absolutley!