It’s a New Year but we still can’t help harking back to the past with rushonrock‘s regular fix of nostalgia meets new music. This week we focus on the rare talent that is the Robinson brothers and their addictive blend of Southern-styled rock and blues.

Now 2008: Warpaint (Silver Arrow) was seven years in the making but turned out to be the perfect follow-up to the laudable Lions. Building on the new found maturity so evident across that 2001 standard, the Black Crowes moulded a monster record fusing the singalong elements of their chart-busting past with a slow burning country/blues undertone which made for one of the essential listens of last year.

Opener Goodbye Daughters Of The Revolution immediately grabs the attention but you know you’ve chanced upon something special when the band unleash the epic Oh Josephine just three songs in to an album chock full of political comment and historical resonance. Clocking in at close to seven minutes it’s one of the best Black Crowes tunes you’ll ever hear. 

It’s true that there’s a slight dip towards the end – perhaps fresh stresses and strains were starting to take their toll on a band which has had its fair share of inner demons in the past – but overall War Paint is a winner. Right now we’re still wondering how it didn’t make rushonrock‘s Top 20 of 2008 but then with competition that good…

rushonrock rated: 8/10 Worth Crowing About

…And Then 1990: Shake Your Moneymaker (Def American) shook up more than the odd moneymaker as Black Crowes arrived on the rock scene with all the swagger of Lynyrd Skynyrd meets the Rolling Stones in a blaze of country blues glory.

This is the record that features their quite brilliant cover of Hard To Handle as well as the truly magnificent Jealous Again and Twice As Hard. But it doesn’t stop there. A dazzling debut which would become a burden to the band in later years features no dud and in She Talks To Angels the Crowes crafted an unber-ballad both haunting and uplifting.

George Drakoulias’s production gave the band a platform to conquer the world and the only surprise is that SYM only  peaked at number four on the Billboard charts. Otherwise it launched a career which, with more than 20 million records sold to date, is still going strong. If 2008’s War Paint is a barometer then it could get even stronger.

rushonrock rated: 10/10 Shake, Rattle And Roll