The Black Crowes
are a taper-friendly rock and roll jam band that's sold over fifteen million records and has been hailed by Melody Maker as "The Most Rock 'n' Roll Rock 'n' Roll Band in the World". The band has toured with acts such as Aerosmith
, ZZ Top
, Jimmy Page, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
and Lenny Kravitz. The Crowes
are listed at Number 92 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
The first incarnation of the band began in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1985. Although the Crowes
have had many members over the years, the driving force behind the band has always been the brothers Chris and Rich Robinson. In 1989, the rockers, who have been heavily influenced by The Rolling Stones
, The Faces
and Southern rock, made a demo cassette tape that got them signed with American Recordings.The Crowes
released their first studio album, Shake Your Money Maker
, in 1990. On the strength of singles "
Hard to Handle"
She Talks to Angels"
Twice as Hard"
, the debut sold over five million copies and was certified 5x platinum in 1995. "
Hard to Handle"
She Talks to Angels"
both broke the top 30 on the pop charts in 1990, and the crossover appeal of the songs helped catapult The Black Crowes
After replacing guitarist Jeff Cease with Marc Ford, the Crowes
released their second album, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
in 1992. The effort spawned the singles "
Thorn in My Pride"
, and in 1995 the disc was certified double platinum (sales of over two million records). Eddie Harsch, who played on the album, became a permanent member of the group beginning on the "
High as the Moon"
In 1994 the now six-piece offered up Amorica
after scrapping the unreleased album, Tall
, the previous year. Though Amorica
failed to produce a hit single, the underrated album still eventually reached "gold" status, selling over 500,000 copies.Three Snakes and One Charm
was released in 1996, followed by a three-year wait for the emergence of 1999's By Your Side
that included the rock hit, "
Kickin' My Heart Around"
. Longtime members Johnny Colt (bass) and Marc Ford (guitar) left the band that year.
In 2000 the Crowes
went on tour and recorded a live album with Led Zeppelin
guitarist Jimmy Page. That same year, singer Chris Robinson married actress Kate Hudson of Almost Famous
fame (Hudson is the daughter of actress Goldie Hawn and the step-daughter of actor Kurt Russell).
In 2001, the band put out their sixth studio effort, Lions
, which included the singles "
. A live album pieced together from two sold-out shows performed at Boston's Orpheum Theatre appeared in 2002 around the same time the Crowes
announced they would be taking an indefinite hiatus. The band did reunite to play one song with Gov't Mule
at the 2003 Jammy Awards. During this period, Chris Robinson released two solo albums: New Earth Mud
(2003) and This Magnificent Distance
(2004). Meanwhile, Rich Robinson formed a short-lived band called Hookah Brown
before recording his own solo album, Paper
was used in commercial promotions of the ESPN series, Tilt
, (starring Michael Madsen) in January 2005.
The hiatus ended in early 2005 as the Robinson brothers reassembled the band - bringing Marc Ford and Sven Pipien back into the fray - for five shows at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom in late March. When those shows quickly sold-out, the band added dates in venues across the country, including multiple-night sell-outs at the Tabernacle in Atlanta and Boston's Orpheum Theatre. Later in the year, The Black Crowes
reunited with original drummer Steve Gorman and joined up with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
for a summer tour.Before the Frost (2009)
features eleven new unreleased Black Crowes'
studio songs. The free album, Until The Freeze (2009)
, has 8 new original Black Crowes'
studio songs, plus a cover version of the Stephen Stills' classic "
So Many Times"
.Before the Frost
and its corresponding free album, Until The Freeze
, were recorded over a series of five nights at Levon Helm Studios. Although both are studio albums, all the new material was performed and recorded in front of an intimate audience of the band's fans.