A little over a year after last playing together, the Black Crowes have officially announced that they are ending the band. “It is with great disappointment and regret,” guitarist Rich Robinson said in a statement, “that after having the privilege of writing and performing the music of the Black Crowes over the last 24 years, I find myself in the position of saying that the band has broken up.”
He continues: “I hold my time with the Black Crowes with the utmost respect and sincerest appreciation. It is a huge swath of my life’s body of work. I couldn’t be more proud of what we accomplished and deeply moved by the relationships people created and maintained with my music. That alone is the greatest honor of being a musician. I love my brother and respect his talent, but his present demand that I must give up my equal share of the band and that our drummer for 28 years and original partner, Steve Gorman, relinquish 100 percent of his share, reducing him to a salaried employee, is not something I could agree to.”
The Marietta, Georgia-based group released its debut, Shake Your Money Maker, in 1990 and thanks to singles like “Hard to Handle” and “She Talks to Angels” it has since been certified five-times platinum. Similarly, its follow-up, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, went double-platinum on the strength of hits like “Sting Me,” “Remedy” and “Thorn in My Pride.” The band’s third release, Amorica, was the Crowes’ last to earn a sales certification, earning a platinum plaque, despite no singles charting in the Hot 100. In total, the band released nine studio albums.
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The news of the group’s breakup comes as little surprise to fans of the southern rock band. Led by brothers Rich and Chris Robinson, they’ve been publicly feuding since their earliest days and have twice put the group on hiatus. In an October 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, Gorman said he thought the group was pretty much over. “The likelihood of us doing anything again is as low as it’s ever been,” he said. “We could obviously all see things differently in a year, but I’ll be surprised if the Black Crowes do something again. Ever.”
The Black Crowes haven’t released an album of new material since 2009’s Before the Frost…Until the Freeze, though in 2013 they reunited for a long tour that wrapped up December 14th at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.
“There are so many people who have helped and supported us along the way,” Robinson said in his statement. “I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all of our fans, our friends behind the scenes, and to everyone who was a part of the Black Crowes.”
Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson has yet to comment on the situation.