Wherever you stand on the current incarnation of the Black Crowes – and the absence of drummer Steve Gorman is a contentious one for some fans – there's no doubt that the Chris and Rich Robinson are stronger together. And they're having fun on a new covers EP digging into their influences.
"We've always worn our love of music on our sleeves, and the artists that have inspired us," says Chris Robinson of the Amazon Originals exclusive release. "We picked some songs that have holy significance to us. They're like holy artefacts."
All the chosen songs by T-Rex, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Little Feat, Rod Stewart, and the Temptations were originally released by the artists in 1972 and the new recordings by the Crowes represent the first steps towards an album of Robinson-penned originals again.
"Rich and I hadn't been in the studio together for a long time," adds Chris in the video above on the sessions at the legendary Sunset Sound studio in LA that saw them track songs including Papa Was A Rolling Stone, The Slider and Rocks Off. "By the end of yesterday I was like, wow this is great."
Sunset Sound also meant analogue goodness. "To have the opportunity to be in one of the best studios on the planet, with the gear that they have – Prince made 1999 right there, and Tom Waits made Rain Dogs… whatever record you're thinking of, it has great magic," Chris enthuses. "[There's] a cult sort of fascination in being in front of a giant Neve console.
"That's what we want – we want loud guitars, we don't want in ear monitors. I don't want digital things – like that's not really a guitar, it's a computer that sounds like a guitar. F**k your f***ing computer, man."
The band recently performed their rockier take on Papa Was A Rolling Stone recently on the Jimmy Kimmel show and were joined by Blackberry Smoke's Charlie Starr on guitar. He also joined them for a set at the Whiskey A Go Go on May 4 and at California's Stagecoach Festival on 1 May .