Out to pasture
The “acoustic re-recordings of greatest hits” album has seemingly replaced the 78-minute remix CD as the most transparent cash-in concept available to artists working today. But the Black Crowes have a meaningful anniversary coming up (their 20th as a band) and an impending indefinite hiatus, so why not? A happy-trails present to fans and entry point into a farewell tour, Croweology isn’t remotely practical, but it is fun, a loose revisiting of Crowes songs resculpted in a good-natured, gather-round-the-campfire style. These old horses sound glad to be let out again (especially “Jealous Again,” a fizzy “Let Me Share the Ride” and the gospel rave-up “My Morning Song”), and age, smoke inhalation and a high-profile breakup have given Chris Robinson’s voice a sadder, more expressive rasp. A side benefit here is in revisiting tracks like “Girl From A Pawnshop” and “Soul Singing,” which you probably haven’t thought about since 2001.