“Happiness Bastards is our love letter to rock ’n’ roll”: The Black Crowes announce first album in 15 years with the groovy strut and walking riff of Wanting And Waiting

Chris and Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes
(Image credit: Ross Halfin)

The Black Crowes have been reunited since 2019 and having successfully managed to not kill each other or fall out in that time – no mean feat – they are really officially back, with the Atlanta, Georgia rock ’n’ roll stalwarts announcing their first studio album in 15 years, Happiness Bastards.

The album will be released via the band’s own label, Silver Arrow Records, on 15 March, and it has been introduced to the world via a new single, Wanting And Waiting, which is precisely the sort of track that Crowes fans would have wanted and waited for all this time. 

The sound of this is as good as a thumbprint: you’ve got that Rich Robinson riff, animated by a single-note defying gravity across the groove; you’ve got the throaty soul of Chris Robinson’s voice. And the track builds to a chorus that’s vintage Crowes.  

You can hear all the influences – '70s Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, roots Americana – and that have made them top-tier rock atavists ever since the release of their 1990 debut, Shake Your Money Maker, when merch designs would point curious fans in the direction of ur-blues recordings (the crow playing acoustic blues guitar while seated, smoking a cigarette was a classy tribute to Robert Johnson).

Robinson – Chris, that is – says that despite the tempestuous relationship he has enjoyed with his brother, Rich, they’ve never really stopped making music together, and when all things are said and done, writing and performing together has 

“Happiness Bastards is our love letter to rock n’ roll. Rich and I are always writing and creating music; that has never stopped for us, and it is always where we find harmony together. This record represents that,” Rich Robinson continued, “This album is a continuation of our story as a band. Our years of experience writing and making music and touring the world are represented in this record.”

Shepherding all of this onto tape is producer Jay Joyce, who has worked with the likes of Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Emmylou Harris, receiving a Grammy for his efforts.

Rich and I are always writing and creating music; that has never stopped for us, and it is always where we find harmony together

Chris Robinson

Lainey Wilson – another artist with a Grammy on the mantlepiece – makes a special guest appearance on a track titled Wilted Rose, which looks like it closes out Side A of a 10-track album that looks like it was designed for a vinyl experience. You can check out the full track-listing at the bottom of the page. All are original compositions.

Even through studio headphones and a YouTube video, Wanting And Waiting is kind on the ears. There’s always been an audiophile sensibility to Black Crowes recordings and this is no different. 

Tour dates for the US, UK and Europe to promised in the spring. Happiness Bastards is available to pre-order now via Silver Arrow and is out 15 March.

Happiness Bastards tracklisting

  • Bedside Manners
  • Rats And Clowns
  • Cross Your Fingers
  • Wanting And Waiting
  • Wilted Rose ft. Lainey Wilson
  • Dirty Cold Sun
  • Bleed It Dry
  • Flesh Wound
  • Follow The Moon
  • Kindred Friend
Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.