After years of infighting, hiring, firing, and rehiring band members, the Black Crowes are officially on hiatus.
Singer Chris Robinson, who founded the band in Atlanta in 1984 with his brother Rich, is planning to pursue a solo career. Meanwhile, according to a statement released by the band, drummer Steve Gorman has left the Crowes for "personal reasons." The statement also advised fans to "stay tuned for news about Rich Robinson."
The official announcement follows a nebulous note on the band's Web site (www.theblackcrowes.com) posted January 1st that suggested the band was "on vacation" and would post more news later in the month.
The Crowes' 1990 debut, Shake Your Money Maker, earned critical and popular acclaim, and through Chris' raspy vocals and Rich's bluesy guitar licks, established the band as classic rockers in the tradition of the great British boogie bands of the late Sixties/early Seventies. That image was reinforced by the Crowes' recent collaborations with Jimmy Page on Zeppelin covers, recorded on 2000's Live at the Greek, eerily close to the originals.
The Crowes were known for heated disputes between the Robinson brothers and their ever-changing supporting cast. But in 2001, after Chris Robinson had married actress Kate Hudson, the band released the well-received Lions, produced by Don Was, and followed it with a tour with another volatile band of brothers, Oasis.