The Black Crowes always struck me as cheese connoisseurs sharp enough to alter their familiar formula with redneck rock, smoky R&B, Aerosmith-style riffage, extended hippie jams and blatant British Invasion borrowings a la the Faces and Free.
The Robinson brothers -- despite time off for drugs, divorce and personnel scrambling -- haven't retooled their sound much for their fifth album, "By Your Side." But damn it all if pleading singer Chris and crunching guitarist Rich haven't turned in 11 songs that feel just right, from the Stonesy stomp of the title track to the sin-and-salvation bluster of "Go Tell the Congregation." Braying slide guitar scorches "Kicking My Heart Around," while "HorseHead" is fueled by dirty wah-guitar declarations. "Only a Fool" and "Diamond Ring" benefit from grooves and Hammond-organ work straight out of Memphis. "Heavy" and "Virtue and Vice" offer bluesy Zep doses, while power ballad "Welcome to the Goodtimes" is spiced with the horns of New Orleans' Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Are the Crowes irrelevant? Yep. Useless? Hell, no.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.