Over two decades, The Black Crowes created an eight-album strong canon that’s crisscrossed the American roots genre. On the brink of their second indefinite hiatus, the Crowes retired to Los Angeles’ Sunset Sound Studios with producer Paul Stacey, and revisited their considerable back catalog, creating radically different rearrangements for this economically priced package. The resulting two-CD set is a live-in-the-studio selection of material that embraces well-known radio warhorses and well-loved catalog gems.
Opener “Jealous Again” is resurrected as a swaggering stripped-down stomper, goosed along by Adam MacDougall‘s ever-present piano fills and some sweet vocal harmonies. Concert staple “Morning Song” is transformed into a chugging earworm, complete with a percolating bass line and acoustic slide guitar. Its rousing outro ends the song as an uplifting gospel revival, complete with handclaps and tambourine. Elsewhere, the original N’awlins-flavored arrangement of “Let Me Share the Ride” is transformed into “Share the Ride,” a bluegrass-kissed compositional cousin. That one is distinguished by its minimal mandolin flourishes and an omni-present click track. Other highlights include the always rock-steady “Remedy” getting funked up by some infectious clavinet, and footstomper “Hotel Illness,” which gets a fiddle-flavored honky-tonk makeover. Regardless of whether this is a mid-career stopgap or fan-friendly farewell, Croweology stands as its own solid part of the Black Crowes’ musical legacy. (Silver Arrow)