Friday, August 06, 2010

The Black Crowes rock 'Artists Den' on Sunday

The Black Crowes (left to right) are Luther Dickinson, Rich Robinson, Adam MacDougall, Sven Pipien, Chris Robinson and Steve Gorman.

Fans of the Black Crowes won’t want to miss the next episode of “Live from the Artists Den” that airs on Los Angeles’ KLCS-TV at 10 p.m. on Sunday night, Aug. 8.

Having been genuinely impressed by the band’s outstanding performance at the Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point back in May, I wondered if the Southern rockers’ power would translate to an hour-long television special. The answer is “yes.”

The episode was taped at the historic Lyric Theatre in the little town of Oxford, Mississippi in September 2009 and features the Black Crowes performing 10 songs; there are also several interview segments with singer Chris Robinson.

With the Black Crowes set to go on indefinite hiatus later this year after wrapping up their “Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys” tour, the band’s newly-issued double-disc Croweology (released Aug. 3 on Silver Arrow/Megaforce Records) is getting loads of attention. But the Crowes’ blend of blues, jam rock and psychedelic funk reaches its zenith in concert and this public television special does the troupe justice.
Indeed, as Robinson notes in one of the early interviews: “Without the audience it means nothing.”

Those simply looking for a greatest-hits trip with the Crowes will be disappointed, but discerning music lovers who admire the band’s deep catalog will appreciate the range of material offered up over the course of 60 minutes. The band plays Delta-styled blues (“Good Morning Captain,” “Let Me Share the Ride”), Southern blues-rock (a vocal harmonies-anchored “Shine Along”), tender folk-blues (“Appaloosa”), the Rolling Stones-styled ballad “She Talks to Angels” and genre-busting material (“I Ain’t Hiding” mixes up blues, psychedelic and funk effortlessly).

Things close out with the band roaring through the retro rock ‘n’ roll of “Thick n’ Thin.” There are few modern-day bands that jam with the kind of raucous and rollicking abandon of the Crowes without losing control and falling off the rails.

If you are a fan of the Black Crowes – or rock ‘n’ roll that celebrates the past and present – make sure to catch a great hour of music making courtesy of “Live from the Artists Den” on Sunday night.
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