Black Crowes take flight at Madison Theater

The Black Crowes
Madison Theater
Covington, Kentucky
August 6, 2008

Perhaps, it was the cooling temperatures outside Covington, Kentuicky’s Madison Theater on August 6. Or, maybe, the addition of North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson on guitar. Whatever the reason, Georgia’s The Black Crowes came into Kentucky with a new attitude, guitarist, and a disc full of inspired compositions that rocked the house well into the late August night.

Starting slowly, the Robinson brothers adapted the Bob Dylan/Johnny Cash jewel, "Girl From The North Country," on dueling acoustic guitars, much to the delight of the packed theater. Referencing to one of 2008’s best albums, Warpaint, Rich and Chris had the tightly squeezed floor full of bobbing heads and smiling acknowledgement on the folk and blues rooted number, "Locust Street."

The rest of the band, including Dickinson, took the stage to roaring applause as the Crowes fleshed out an expanding masterpiece of improvisational country rock glory on "Wiser Time." Dickinson’s solos swerved in and out of the path of Rich Robinson’s stinging lead guitar mastery. Then, the band surprised the audience inside the Madison by going back to a half acoustic setup for Warpaint‘s call and response social commentary minded anthem, "Whoa Mule." It was inspired timing, and from that moment the Black Crowes kept their music very tight, yet swinging.

Knocking one out of the park, lead singer Chris Robinson reached into the upper registers of his banshee howl to nail the transcending and arching "Oh Josephine" so that the mournful notes of the stomper pushed back to the top of the balcony, replete with a towering instrumental coda. "Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution" pinned it’s southern twanging ingredients on the blazing, circular soloing of Luther Dickinson. The NMA veteran added extra punch and spirit to the Crowes’ amalgam of blues, jazz and boogie induced rock and roll.

As the evening neared a close, the Black Crowes initiated their first stay at the Madison Theater with a blistering version of "Thorn in My Pride," a fitting way to burn up the cool August northern Kentucky evening.