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Interview:
The Black Crowes know when to fly these days
 

By GARY GRAFF
For Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

The Black Crowes last toured in 2010 and filled the intervening years with a variety of their own projects.

But these days, according to drummer Steve Gorman, the group -- which took a vitriolic hiatus from 2002-2005 -- no longer worries about whether it will get back together.

"The Black Crowes doesn't have to be everyone's full-time thing for it to be as good as it can possibly be," explains the Muskegon-born Gorman, 47, who co-founded the group during 1989 in Atlanta with frontman Chris Robinson and his brother, guitarist Rich Robinson. "In fact, it's almost like we get to a point where it's like, 'Hey, this thing's so good we need to take a break,' because I think we learned form the past that usually around the band from the moment where it's really, really great is when everything really kind of falls apart.

"And I think going away and playing with other people for two years is the best thing for the Black Crowes; it only makes the band that much better when we do come back to it."

The Crowes are coming back with a lot this year. In addition to its Lay Down With Number 13 world tour -- which will run throughout the year and include summer run with the Teseschi Trucks Band -- the group has released a new live album, "Wiser For the Time," from the Crowes' five-night New York City stand during the fall of 2010. The band is also introducing new guitarist Jackie Greene, a solo artist in his own right who was brought in when Luther Dickinson amicably left to return to his other projects.

And Gorman is expecting that it won't be long before some new Crowes music, and possibly the group's first set of new material since 2009's "Before the Frost...Until the Freeze," begins to surface as a result of being on the road.

"I'd be amazed if it didn't," says Gorman, who's also pursing national syndication for a sports talk radio show he started In Nashville. "There's always riffs and ideas and melodies. I'm sure if you ask Chris and Rich...there's things they both have that I know they go, 'That's better for the Black Crowes.' There's nothing to overthink; it just is what it is. They're always throwing ideas around. Any writer is just always writing, whether they mean to or not.

"So I'd be very surprised if we talked at the end of this tour, whenever it really ends, and I didn't say, 'Yeah, we worked up a bunch of new tunes. There's some cool stuff.' "

The Black Crowes perform Sunday, April 14, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Some mezzanine seats, priced $145 and $115, remain. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com. The Crowes return on Aug. 15 to play the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the Oakland University campus in Rochester Hills with the Tedeschi Trucks band and London Souls. Tickets are $85 and $49.50 pavilion, $35 lawn and go on sale Friday (April 12). Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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