Listen to this track by volatile brotherly outfit and Atlanta blooze rock concern The Black Crowes. It’s “She Talks To Angels”, the fourth single from their smash-hit 1990 debut Shake Your Moneymaker. The song was a number one on the US rock charts, and scored a modest success in the UK as well.
The band’s sound is based in the kind of music that had its origins where the band itself originated, to wit: classic soul music and the blues. But, it also owed a strong debt to bands in the UK who first interpreted that music for the rock idiom, repackaging it for fans back in the United States during the ’60s and ’70s, most notably, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Free, and The Faces. As such, The Black Crowes represent a kind of cultural and stylistic Mobius strip, and certainly were a singular musical unit when they hit the ground running chartwise in the early ’90s.
But, none of their interesting origins would matter much without the songs. And this remains to be among the Black Crowes’ best. Read more
Here’s a clip of the Led Zeppelin staple “Ten Years Gone”, originally from 1975’s Physical Graffiti, performed by second generation disciples, and pros in their own right, The Black Crowes. Take a look, have a listen.
To me, this is a gutsy move, covering Zeppelin. Thankfully, the Crowes’ frontman Chris Robinson doesn’t try and sound like Robert Plant – he knows that he doesn’t need to, which may be why they had the gumption to do almost a whole show of Zep songs, with Page sitting in. And Page lays down some authentic riffage which proves that this song is timeless anyway.
The performance here is taken from a show at L.A ‘s the Greek Theatre in 1999. Thankfully, someone had the foresight to record the event, which resulted in the Live at the Greek album, featuring Jimmy Page on a Zep-centric set, including tunes like ‘Celebration Day’, “In My Time of Dying”, “The Lemon Song”, “Whole Lotta Love”, and many others. Also featured are Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” and the Yardbirds’ “Shapes of Things”. Given that the Crowes were given life in part thanks to British blues-rock, this concert was something more than an event. It comes off as a tribute, in the best sense of that word, which usually has bad connotations in the rock world.