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Before the Frost... Until the Freeze

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Editors’ Notes

Reunited and inspired, the Black Crowes brought a notable amount of new material with them to the Band’s Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock, and cut everything live in front of an appreciative audience. The guys are in fine form with Larry Campbell adding some choice fiddle, pedal steel and banjo where appropriate. They use their full rock vocabulary and then some. Tracks such as “Good Morning Captain,” “Kept My Soul” and “So Many Times“ trace the band’s blues and gospel roots, while “What Is Home” pays homage to the their early-‘70s folk roots, with its sweet CSNY-type harmonies and fingerpicked instruments (mandolin, banjo) creating a bucolic spell. “I Ain’t Hiding” skirts ‘70s disco. “Garden Gate” tricks up bluegrass. “And the Band Played Om” riffs on the Beatles. “Houston Don’t Dream About Me” flirts with ‘70s country-rock, while “Roll On Jeremiah” goes for straight C&W. “The Last Place That Love Lives” channels that wasted acoustic folk-soul that Chris Robinson knows or so well.

Customer Reviews

Like a timeless dirt road waltz with a beautiful woman

Buy this now, and buy it for a friend. Word is this album was recorded in upstate New York at Levon Helm's studio, the result we have here is pure magic, in the oldest sense of the word. The instrumentation alone is better than I could have imagined. Rich and Luther take what Betts and Allman did all those years back and create a sonic backdrop that blows the doors off of an already powerful legacy. This band embodies hard, hard work and the pure satisfaction that comes with it. Tight as anything. From the acid drenched soul of the "Aimless Peacock" to the down home rambling of "What is Home" I for one am just be glad to know that I will be able to see these boys live for many years to come. I know this is from the ROCK genere, but to me this is what country music should strive to be, experimental and taking musical risks. Tough as nails without the cheese. To me these guys are as outlaw as Waylon was, you gotta love these guys.

Southern Roots

The Black Crowes are back to their southern roots & have taken it all the way this time! This album is like a double gift from the band & I especially appreciate all the genres of music that they cover. How many bands can take you from rock to country to disco to bluegrass to psychedelic and back again all on one album? It's very few my friend, with The Rolling Stones being the only one to come to mind ie: Exile On Main Street. As a southerner I enjoy & appreciate the country/bluegrass sound of Garden Gate & Old Jeremiah which reminded me a bit of Little Feat. There are several outstanding cuts on this album with Good Morning Captain, I Ain't Hiding, So Many TImes & Aimless Peacock being a few of my favorites. Being recorded live adds another dimension where the band has always shined. This album will not make everyone happy & you'll probably never hear it on the radio because this isn't The Black Crowes of the 1990's. But afterall it's 2009 yall! True fans of the band are going to love this wonderful double album. It's definitely worth adding to your collection. Once again, I can hardly wait until The Crowes fly my way so I can experience them live once again. LOVE IT!!

re-inventing the re-invention--beautifully

The second disc--Until the Freeze (tracks 12-20) quite frankly, are not my bag. I am a HUGE Crowes fan, but have never liked country. But it is not grating, or phony--The Crowes could go techno and they'd get it right. Disc One (Before the Frost) is amazing. The addition of Luther Dickinson has no doubt changed the sound somewhat, and he is fantastic on the record. "Good Morning Captain" is classic Crowes--a five-star track. The entire album is so soulful and....HONEST. The fact they recorded it live, with fans in paid attendance tells you how unique and ingenious this band is. "I Ain't Hidin'" is kick-*ss disco for 2009--a raucous good time. A highlight is the 4-minute outtro jam on "Been A Long Time (Waiting On Love)"--pure Crowes, down n' dirty and jamalicious. This band almost quit forever a few years ago, and this work is living proof they should not stop making music together until they die...FREAK ON FOREVER!!


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...
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