The Black Crowes

Freak 'N' Roll... Into the Fog

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This double-disc is essentially the audio component to the DVD of the same name released in March 2006. There are several live documents of the Black Crowes before their breakup especially, but this one shows them at their rawest, with a complete horn section and backing vocalists tearing it up at the Fillmore. It's true, one can listen to the DVDs , but if you aren't one of those people who particularly likes to watch music videos, this might be a better bet. The sound is great, and the performance is positively electric. It starts a little ragged, but that's part of the charm; by the time the band gets to "Soul Slinging" four cuts in, they are burning. Chris Robinson's deep hippie aspirations as expressed on his New Earth Mud solo album get incorporated here without the Black Crowes losing any of their fire, ferocity, or crazy, raw performance antics. Rich Robinson's playing is top-notch, as is the rest of the band's. Check cuts like "Jealous Again" or the cover of "Space Captain." Slip on disc two and get to "Non Fiction," clocking in at over ten minutes, or the closing cover version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," and the belief is in the hearing. If the Black Crowes wanted to prove they were back as a band, Freak 'N' Roll...Into the Fog should be all the evidence one needs.

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