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Black Crowes, The: Freak 'N' Roll ... Into the Fog-The Black Crowes All Join Hands-The Fillmore, San Francisco

Any web site that gives even peripheral coverage to jambands would be remiss to let this two-disc set chronicling The Black Crowes' five sold-out nights last year at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium go unnoticed. The band, which scored big in the early Nineties with a retro classic-rock sound that included hits like "Jealous Again" and "Hard to Handle," flew too close to the sun in 2002 and called it quits. After reuniting in 2005, though, the Crowes have emerged as one of America's last remaining true rock bands.

Sure, it would be easy to view the overly long titled Freak 'N' Roll Into the Fog: The Black Crowes All Join Hands-The Fillmore, San Franciso (and its jaw-dropping DVD companion, sold separately) as just another obligatory live document of a veteran band attempting to cash in on reunion buzz. But this two-hour-and-15-minute set is no fluke. The Crowes sound rejuvenated, injecting new sting into "She Talks To Angels," "Seeing Things" and "Remedy," melding the end of disc one and the beginning of disc two with mellower tunes that are book-ended by full-blown retro-rock assaults, and wrapping up with a reverent cover of The Band's "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down." It's pure neo-hippie nirvana that pulsates with the band's trademark swagger. Vocalist Chris Robinson sings in a thicker voice that's lost some of its whine and twang but none of its urgency, and he's backed by guitarist/brother Rich Robinson, longtime drummer Steve Gorman and three new players, plus two female backing vocalists and a four-man horn section all playing tighter than expected and eager to jam.

The accompanying booklet's essay, penned by's Dennis Cook, reveals that The Black Crowes performed 57 originals and 27 covers during their Fillmore stint. It's too bad Freak 'N' Roll reduces that body of work to a mere 19 songs from one night; this should have been a multiple-disc set chronicling the entire run.

Track Listing
Disc One:
1) (Only) Halfway to Everywhere
2) Sting Me
3) No Speak No Slave
4) Soul Singing
5) Welcome to the Goodtimes
6) Jealous Again
7) Space Cpatain
8) My Morning Son
9) Sunday Night Buttermilk Waltz

Disc Two:
1) Cursed Diamond
2) She Talks to Angels
3) Wiser Time
4) Non Fiction
5) Seeing Things
6) Hard to Handle
7) Let Me Share the Ride
8) Mellow Down Easy
9) Remedy
10) The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down

Added: November 4th 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Black Crowes Web Site
Hits: 1988
Language: english

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