Music News

The Black Crowes

When the Black Crowes first went national, around 1990, the band became a walking/talking critical argument. Were Chris and Rich Robinson inspired revivalists, introducing rock and blues verities rendered with credibility and conviction to a new generation? Or were they figurative grave defilers, cynically cornholing the corpse of rock glories past for the entertainment of aging fans who loved claiming they dug a new band and didn't care that it didn't actually sound new? Back then, I sided with the latter line of reasoning, and in general, I still do. With so many fresh and exciting sounds to hear, why bother listening to a group that replicates timeworn ones? But those who prefer musical comfort food rather than unique flavors could do worse. The Crowes aren't dilettantes — they've devoted decades to favorite styles — and their latest album, Warpaint, is solid and substantial. I won't be at the Fillmore to see them, but I can understand why you might.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts