The Black Crowes – Shake Your Moneymaker

ARTIST: The Black Crowes                            220px-BlackCrowesShakeYourMoneymaker

TITLE:  Shake Your Moneymaker

YEAR RELEASED: 1990

CHART ACTION: #4 US, #36 UK

SINGLES: Jealous Again (#75 US, #5 US Rock, #76 UK), Twice As Hard (#11 US Rock, #47 UK), Hard to Handle (#26 US, #1 US Rock, #39 UK), She Talks to Angels (#30 US, #1 US Rock, #70 UK), Seeing Things (#2 US Rock, #72 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: That’s about it for airplay.

LINEUP: Chris Robinson, Rich Robinson, Jeff Cease, Johnny Colt, Steve Gorman, Chuck Leavell, Brendan O’Brien, Laura Creamer

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Blues / Southern rock makes a retro-sounding record that’s a big hit and holds up well.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The album and sound are about as basic as you could get. Open-tuned blues guitar as a basis, some nice leads and bottleneck guitar, and some vocal swag. Oh, and a tasteful cover of a forgotten Otis Redding song.

Chris Robinson’s vocals have enough of an attitude to convey a sense of fun and danger. The addition of Chuck Leavell on piano and organ is also an excellent touch as he adds that authenticity from working with the Allman Brothers.

It’s a good album for those who long for the southern blues rock idiom. The songs are simple, direct and unpretentious. Not everyone is top notch, but nothing you’d skip over, either.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “She Talks to Angels’ is about a woman with a heroin addiction that Chris Robinson knew.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A couple of extra tracks and an acoustic song.

GRADE: B+: This still holds up today. A good ol’ fashion’ Southern blues / rock record.

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