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The Black Crowes


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5 3 0
August 13, 2002

Totally seventies to their last foreseeable breath, the Black Crowes — now split into separate Robinson-brother solo projects — sign off with a double live album, recorded last year, that boasts the dirty fidelity and bong-happy abandon of Humble Pie's Performance — Rockin' the Fillmore (1971), the Faces' Coast to Coast: Overtures and Beginnings (1974) and that Chicago-blues-night side of the Rolling Stones' Love You Live (1977). Closer in bark and soul to the late Steve Marriott than he ever was to Rod Stewart, singer Chris Robinson sounds as if he's testifying through a bullhorn, pressed between the bloody-murder screams of Rich Robinson's and Audley Freed's guitars. The gravel and boom serve the progressive-blues inventions in the Robinsons' songs better than the studio often did. "Cosmic Friend," from last year's Lions, and "Cursed Diamond," from 1994's Amorica, beam with new stoner swagger. The only drag: Where the hell is "Jealous Again"?

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