The Black Crowes

Wiser for the Time

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As the Black Crowes lurched back into action, embarking on a limited tour in the spring of 2013, the group decided to bestow a mild favor upon its fans: a double live album recorded during their supporting tour for the 2010 album Croweology. That record found the brothers Robinson and crew revisiting their beloved songs, reworking them for an acoustic context, and so it follows that this supporting live double album -- released as vinyl or download -- is similarly comfortable, offering no great surprises in either song selection (stretching outside their songbook, the Crowes cover both "Hot Burrito #1" and "Hot Burrito #2" from the Flying Burrito Brothers, plus encore with Little Feat's "Willin'") or execution, with the group settling into the grooves instead of finding territory outside them. This isn't surprising but it's pretty fun, particularly because the band's relaxed chemistry is comforting, with the Crowes emphasizing the warm, worn-in contours of their interplay over friction. As such, this never surprises but it does satisfy, especially for those fans who have remained devoted to the Crowes through thick and thin...and can recognize that this limited live album is more the former than the latter.

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