Saturday, December 20, 2014

before the frost...until the freeze

The Black Crowes recorded this double album of new material live at Levon Helm's barn and came away with the rugged realization of their years of rootsy rock revivalism.  Brothers Chris and Rich Robinson had gone through numerous changes since they started the band while in high school.   Their debut album 'Shake Your Money Maker' was a huge hit in 1990 and the number one followup 'The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion' in 1992 secured their place on classic rock radio playlists.  In the intervening years, their fortunes waxed and waned as they went through lineup changes and scraped albums (check out 'The Lost Crowes'), eventually going on hiatus from 2002 until 2005.  A new lineup regained public favor with 'Warpaint' and then 'Warpaint Live' before deciding to record their next album in front of an audience of loyal fans.  

Chris Robinson reveeals:  “What we, in our infinite wisdom, failed to realise; but we’re probably getting better at it, is that the only way we truly are ever copacetic, and can communicate, is when we’re doing that [points towards their rehearsal room] because the second we’re not doing that, it starts to get very tedious and awkward. That’s why, now, he lives in Connecticut, and I live in California. He stays in the front of the bus; I’m in the back. It’s not out of any animosity. I love him, and I would hope he’d say the same, but [laughing ruefully] we do not get on...Bad stuff happens.  What I had to learn was, that I’m only responsible for my perception of things. The world’s not out to get you. That’s not the way it works...We’ve always felt that being an individual and being a musician – you can’t put a price on that. You can’t tell us what to do. We just are that way.”

Christopher Robinson on vocals, harmonica, and guitars;  Richard Robinson on guitars, sitar, and vocals;  Steve Gorman on drums and percussion;   Sven Pipien on bass and vocals;  Luther Dickinson on guitars and mandolin;  Adam MacDougall on keyboards and vocals;  with    Larry Campbell on banjo, fiddle, and pedal steel;  and Joe Magistro on percussion.   The album was produced, engineered, and mixed by Paul Stacey with engineers Justin Guip and Chris Edwards.  Initially released as the single album 'Before the Frost' with 'Until the Freeze' being made available online to people who bought the compact disk.  'Before the Frost...Until the Freeze' was made available as a double album only on vinyl, but with a different running order.  A DVD of part of the performance was released as 'Cabin Fever'.  

'Before the Frost...Until the Freeze' ventured to ninety-two in France, fifty-one in the Netherlands, and forty-seven in the UK; while in the US, they reached twelve on the Billboard 200 album chart, six on the Rock chart, and number two on the Indie album chart. 

"Aimless Peacock"

"Good Morning Captain"


"I Ain't Hiding"

"What Is Home"

"Been a Long Time (Waiting on Love)"

"Oh Sweet Nuthin'" {Velvet Underground cover}

"The Dolphins" {Fred Neil cover}

'Before the Frost...Until the Freeze' 
full album:

All tracks written by Chris and Rich Robinson, except where noted.

Before the Frost... 
"Good Morning Captain" – 3:24
"Been a Long Time (Waiting on Love)" – 7:47
"Appaloosa" – 3:35
"A Train Still Makes a Lonely Sound" – 4:23
"I Ain't Hiding" (C. Robinson) – 5:57
"Kept My Soul" – 5:23
"What Is Home?" (R. Robinson) – 5:13
"Houston Don't Dream About Me" – 5:05
"Make Glad" – 4:18
"And the Band Played On..." – 4:12
"The Last Place That Love Lives" (C. Robinson) – 4:57

...Until the Freeze 
"Aimless Peacock" – 6:40
"The Shady Grove" – 4:42
"The Garden Gate" – 4:21
"Greenhorn" – 7:12
"Shine Along" – 4:47
"Roll Old Jeremiah" (C. Robinson) – 4:40
"Lady of Avenue A" – 5:20
"So Many Times" (Chris Hillman, Stephen Stills) – 4:53
"Fork in the River" (C. Robinson) – 4:11

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