Tag Archives: Jeff Cease

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….

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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!