Saturday, August 14, 2010

Croweology - The Black Crowes

This year will be their 20th year together. The greatest southern rock band since The Allman Brothers has just released new versions of their old songs as a way of thanking their fans, before they go on a long hiatus. If that weren't enough, they've also sold this double-disc set for the price of one. These new takes are recorded live in studio, and are mainly acoustic. I'm usually skeptical of bands doing unplugged versions, but this isn't like Bon Jovi doing that terrible acoustic album of their hits. On the other hand, Croweology ain't no half-assed remake of greatest hits.

Ok I gotta admit, I don't own all the Crowes' stuff, so about half of the original songs I've not heard before. There's plenty of the signature kick-ass boogie, soul, blues and gospel, and even some extended jamming on songs like Ballad In Urgency, Wiser Time and Thorn In My Pride. She Talks To Angels is slowed down quite a bit, this time with pedal steel and violins, but it still works. Chris Robinson's vocals does wonders as usual. My personal favorite, Hotel Illness, gets a very different treatment -- totally stripped down campfire-like version with some killer harp work. Check this shit out.