If you have been reading this blog you will notice that we at HiFi do not just review new music, we also enjoy some older albums that we consider true gems in the HiFi Central vaults. One of my favorites is the Black Crowes album Southern Harmony and Musical Companion which was released in 1992. The band had made their mark with their debut album Shake Your Money Maker (1990) and the big hit off that album being ”Hard to Handle”. A solid song for sure, but one that has been so overplayed that I usually change the channel. That debut album went multi-platinum (5 times!) and clearly established The Black Crowes rightful place among reputable rock and roll bands.
The Black Crowes followed up Shake Your Money Maker with The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (1992) (this album too went platinum); this album provided newly established fans more of what the Black Crowes were capable of and continued where Shake Your Money Maker left off. The band did not dissapoint on Southern Harmony; although the album does drift the band in a new direction and sound it did reflect their ability to continue creativity and emotion in their music. This album is more cozy and personal in many ways, the sound of the album feels that they settled down in a well worn recording studio, locked the doors, and played what they felt at the time. The album does not feel like it has numerous layers of tracks, special effects, or over production. The album just flows and works its way around in a way that one can easily tell that much time, effort, and emotion was put into each song.
The biggest hit off this album was “Remedy” and it’s a very catchysong; Chris Robinson sings his heart out and the back up singers create the true “Southern Harmony” for the namesake of the album. My personal favorites on this album include “Black Moon Creeping” and “My Morning Song”; both songs are little known by most and rarely played on commercial radio, however, I hold them as the real highlights on the album.
Gospel, Rock, and a twist of Southern Harmony just make this album one of the all-time keepers in my collection. If you are familiar with The Black Crowes and don’t have this album, grab it in the used bin at your local music store; you will find out it is a treasure!
Black Crowes Southern Harmony and Musical Companion gets 4.5 out of 5