Owing much to southern rockers such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers as well as rock gods Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes have created their own style of southern hard rock that many argue is the best since the aforementioned bands. While this is debatable, they certainly led to some revival of southern rock, and have had a definitive impact on the music industry.

Formed in 1984 By Chris and Rich Robinson, and when they released their first album Shake Your Money Maker in 1990, Steve Gorman, Jeff Crease, and Johnny Colt had also joined. When the big single from this album, Hard To Handle (a cover of the Otis Redding song) was released the album went multi-platinum, and to this point has sold of 3 million copies of the record. Keyboardist Eddie Hersch was later added as a permanent member after playing session and tour work with them.

As stated above, the band is a big supporter of NORML and usually plays at the Great American Smoke-out (the marijuana-related one, not cigarettes).

Band Members (Not all at the same time):

1 = left band before Lions
2 = joined band before Lions

Discography through 2001:


On a personal note, I have never seen them live as a full band, but in 1996 I did see some members on stage. I went to see G. Love and Special Sauce at Irving Plaza in New York City, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who had been opening for the Crowes, was opening for G. Love that night. The Black Crowes must have been waiting, because at the end of the main set, Chris, Rich, and Eddie came out and joined G. Love in a dirty blues rendition of the Beatles' Help!. Very awesome.

The Black Crowes have been recording for over twenty years, and in that time have released ten studio albums and nine live albums, and have gone on many concert tours, as well as opening for many of the biggest names in rock. They helped revive southern rock as a genre. There are many other accolades that could be given to the Black Crowes.

But for many people, the Black Crowes are pretty much known for being a band for stoners. The band itself is not shy to announce its personal fondness and social advocacy for cannabis, and their music, at least the most famous music off its first two albums, are stereotypically seen as stoner anthems of a sort.

Why this is so is not exactly clear. The Black Crowes music does have a combination of intricacy and repetition that can appeal to the cannabis influenced mind. The lyrics are a mixture of absurd and pretentious that could pass as profound in the tunnels of marijuana intoxication.

She never mentions the word addiction
In certain company
Yes, she'll tell you she's an orphan
After you meet her family
Catchy? Mysterious? Portentous? All of the above, but despite listening to this song for twenty years, I couldn't guess what they are talking about.

But the thing about singling out The Black Crowes as a band for stoners is that everything that can be said about their music and lyrics, as well as the lifestyle behind them, is true of pretty much every rock band, ever. What is said about The Black Crowes could also be said about Led Zeppelin and The Allman Brothers Band, and while both of those bands are known to be popular with stoners, it isn't what they are known for. So although the Black Crowes certainly are the type of band that appeals to stoners, why that has become their foremost association in many people's minds is a question for the ages.

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