"Freak'n'Roll ...Into the Fog" (Eagle; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The Black Crowes are one of those bands that are just a little outside of my musical radar. I don't own a single album by the band, but I don't change the channel when a Black Crowes song comes on the radio, either. 

I tell you this because, despite the fact I'm not what you'd call a big fan of The Black Crowes, I have always respected their unique sound and their undeniable talents. And this double live CD (taken from their DVD of the same name released earlier this year), is yet another example of why the band is worthy of that respect.

"Freak'n'Roll ... Into the Fog" is nineteen tracks and over two hours of The Black Crowes at their best. This performance, captured at the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco, CA, showcases the band's amazing talents, their heartfelt songwriting and the overall honesty of their live show. 

Although this CD may not often find itself in my CD player (most of the music here is just too slow for my taste), I will certainly play it again when the Black Crowes mood strikes me. Fans of the band can easily add another half guitarsaw to my rating above. 

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"Lions" (V2; 2001)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

You know The Black Crowes when you hear them. Chris Robinson’s vocals are the recognizable mainstay while the music changes to meet their growth as artists. The band's debut, “Shake Your Money Maker,” was released in 1990 and spread all over radio with single after single hitting it big thanks MTV. 

Even though they’ve matured since then, they haven’t lost that bluesy sound. I’ll admit I’m a fan as long as I’m getting continuous enjoyment from a band. I’m not a fair-weather or even a fickle fan so my hiatus from The Black Crowes discography is nobody’s fault but my own. They never stopped touring and recording and it's comforting to visit an old friend in a new time.

Their music on "Lions" is stylish. Sometimes the Crowes borrow, but only from themselves, so the end product is their creativity and any fan of The Black Crowes knows that the music keeps getting better and better. Repeated listens helps to solidify this disc. The lyrics on a few songs have a slight sleaze factor working them while the groove pushes forward with fits and you’ll find yourself foot tapping along.

The guitar seems to venture into odd places than what I’m used to hearing. It almost has an alternative sound at times but the foundation of the blues is still present even when the train seems to come off the tracks. There are also funky riffs tossed in to make it more interesting as it plays along. When the acoustics take over get ready for some sweet pickin’.

Inspired by Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Faces, The Black Crowes use their influences to make music their way. Each song has that signature sound that gives their music a Southern rock anchor. If you’ve been gone for a while, come back around and see what you missed ... or forgotten.

“Lions” was produced by Don Was. He adds strings, piano and mixes up songs with different arrangements. It may get a little artsy here and there but there’s more meat than veggies so you’ll still like it.

The best songs here are “Midnight From The Inside Out,” “Come On,” “No Use Lying,” “Soul Singing” and “Miracle To Me.”

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:11 -0400.