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Before the Frost... Until the Freeze

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Album Review

Revitalized by their 2008 reunion, the Black Crowes decided to take a genuine risk, recording a double-album's worth of new material in front of a live audience at Levon Helm's barn in upstate New York...and then release the second half, Until the Freeze, as a free download-only. To a certain extent, such formal experiments are where the Crowes can really stretch, as they're so devoted to rock & roll roots from Southern England to South Georgia, they can't add new wrinkles to old traditions. But that's not exactly right: they're willing to stretch until at least the late '70s, offering their spin on a Rolling Stones' disco on the album's first single, "I Ain't Hiding." As true as that may be, it's too snide and easy, and does a disservice to what the Crowes pull off with aplomb on this rather remarkable record, a record that has all the easy interplay of a road-tested band but none of the weariness. The Crowes play with muscle and grace, easing into the rustic ramble of "Appaloosa" or getting dirt underneath their fingernails on the stupendous opener "Good Morning Captain," a song that sets the keynote for the rest of the record both in its sturdy construction and enthusiastically ragged performance. More than anything, it's the kineticism that captivates, how the band deepens their already-strong songs with muscle and blood, sounding alive in a way that they never quite have in the studio. No longer young upstarts, they wear their years proudly on this terrific album, sounding like the veteran roadhounds they've always aspired to be.

Customer Reviews

Bobs Country (Rock) Bunker!

The Good Ole (Black Crowes) Boys have come up with a class piece of work here.
1st half is 70's style southern Rock, second is country (think they channelled Gram Parsons for the last two!)
There are a few freaky ones thrown in too...
To get the vibe from the 30sec previews try "Train makes a Lonely sound" for the first half and 'So many times" for the second.

Exceptional Times!

Quite simply THE best album of 2009. Always an honest, hardworking band, the way they recorded this album, in front of an intimate audience, turned out to produce an astonishing piece of work. A quieter, country tinged album that just won't quit once you've listened to it. Singable and Catchy songs so beautiful it's hard to imagine anyone who lives good music not loving it! Enjoy!!

Biography

Formed: 1984 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

At the time of their 1990 debut, the kind of rock & roll the Black Crowes specialized in was sorely out of style. Only Guns N' Roses came close to approximating a vintage Stones-style raunch, but they were too angry and jagged to pull it off completely. The Black Crowes, on the other hand, replicated that Stonesy swagger and Faces boogie perfectly. Vocalist Chris Robinson appropriated the sound and style of vintage Rod Stewart, while brother Rich Robinson fused Keith Richards' lean guitar attack...
Full bio