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Black Crowes headed, happily, for a hiatus

of the Oakland Press

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Black Crowes fans want him to say it ain’t so, but frontman Chris Robinson says the group will definitely take an “indefinite hiatus” after its current tour.

But unlike its acrimonious split in 2002, Robinson contends this is a good thing.

“It’s been five solid years of touring and three records and DVDs, and it’s more about having a little bit of space and taking a breath away from the thing,” explains Robinson, 43, who co-founded the band with his brother, guitarist Rich Robinson, and drummer Steve Gorman in Atlanta in 1989.

“This has easily been the most fulfilling and progressive time in the band in 20 years. I think everyone’s in a good space, and our hiatus is for nothing but health reasons, mental and physical, and to have the freedom to do some projects with other people and raise the kids and stuff like that.”

Robinson adds that the break “might be 18 months, it might be two years, it might be five — I don’t know. We’ll get back together when we feel it’s right. There’s no end or beginning; it’s ‘Let’s just do some other stuff for a while and we’ll get back together when we feel it’s right.”

Earlier this month the Crowes released “Croweology,” a two-CD set of acoustic arrangements of 20 favorites — including “Jealous Again,” “Remedy,” “She Talks to Angels,” “Wiser Time” and “My Morning Song” — recorded during December and January in Los Angeles. But the group is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first album, the five-times platinum “Shake Your Money Maker,” and enjoying a sense of the group’s creative evolution over the years.

“What we really wanted more than fame and money and success,” Robinson explains, “(was) the opportunity to get deeper into our music. I think where we are 20 years later ... I guess our use of language has become better, if music is language. I think our conversation has become deeper and more interesting and full of nuance.

“Hopefully, one day you get to a point where you feel you’re working in masterful strokes. But I think that ambition is the thing that keeps you interested, because I don’t think you ever get there. But that pursuit is what drives you.”

The Black Crowes perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Tickets are $59.50 and $39.50. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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