Brothers of a Feather – Live at the Roxy

{mosimage}Although
not as popular as other contemporaries, The Black Crowes have grown up to the
status of a classic rock band. After a 4-year hiatus, brothers Chris and Rich
Robinson
got together again in 2005 and offered some of the band’s most
outstanding performances ever. In 2006, besides touring with the Crowes, the
Robinson brothers also offered a few special shows as an acoustic duo .(electric sometimes) The cd / dvd
Brothers of a Feather: Live at the Roxy offers the highlights of a series of
concerts in Los Angeles.

Coming from
artists with a good amount of hits behind, one might expect an unplugged
greatest hits type of album. Not quite right. As a matter of fact, this Live at
the Roxy hardly includes Black Crowes hits or songs. The set is a very
interesting mix of few Black Crowes originals, unreleased songs, b-sides,
covers, songs from the solo albums and even two new songs.

This way the
set remains fresh and new, discovering a new side of the Robinsons’ music. They
dig deep into traditional American folk music. The covers include songs by Gene
Clark
(Polly), John Martyn (Over the Hill) or David Wiffin (Driving Wheel), and
a little bit more known are Lowell George’s Roll Um Easy and Bob Dylan’s
Forever Young.

The album
keeps a laid back pace, bringing an intimate and warm feeling. There are not
loud guitar riffs by Rich or screams by Chris, but there’s no need. The music
speaks by itself and it is soulful. Both brothers deliver very good harmonies.
Even the guitarist sings a couple of songs.

If the
rarities and the covers are not enough, the brothers also present two new
songs: Cold Boy Smile and Magic Rooster Blues. These are probably the best
songs both have written together in ten years. There will be a new Black Crowes
album next year. If these new songs can be a hint, one of the best Black Crowes
can be expected.

Brothers of
a Feather is released a in cd/dvd combo. The film brings even a more intimate
feeling. Maybe it’s the bare stage in small theater, with just rack next to the
brothers to places the hat and the coat. Of course, they feel like home on
stage. The dvd includes six more songs. Some of them feature the guest
appearance of sax player Dave Ellis, who adds some nice extra sounds to the
mix. So the female backing vocalists do. They add the extra “black sound” that
The Black Crowes music needs.

Most likely
this set will not sell much, apart of the regular fan base. In spite of their
early success, the Robinson brothers have alienated themselves too much from
wide audiences. However, Brothers of a Feather is a testimony of two of the most talented rock artists to come up in the last
20 years in their most intimate space. Two grown up artists, with many shows behind and a deep love and
knowledge about music. Not just another live album, but a unique collection of songs. Superb.

Rating 5/5