By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
It seems only appropriate that the Crowes' album of new material, After the Freeze..., was recorded live in front of a select group of fans at ex-Band member Levon Helm's barn/studio in rural Woodstock, New York. That's because this effort may be the band's rootsiest effort yet, with several songs that wouldn't appear out of place on Music from Big Pink.
Its companion CD, ...Before the Frost (available as a free download after purchase of Freeze), collects the more country-leaning songs from the same sessions. Since its re-formation, The Black Crowes has continued to make (despite the overuse of the phrase) music truly "on its own terms" for the band's fans—media/charts/popular taste be ignored, if not damned. And while finding common ground with classic-rock acts, the band members aren't simply aping that era's sound, style and denim. Both new efforts also continue to show why adding Luther Dickinson as guitarist could be the most important lineup change the band has ever seen, as his tasty slide and neat notes dominate many songs.
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