Top positive review
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Crowes take to the woods and find spiritual guidance
on June 17, 2012
'Before The Frost...Until The Freeze', released September 2009, are two superb albums which stem from the same sessions held before a live audience at the cozy Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY. You buy one and get the other one by downloading it for 'free' from their website. Interesting concept, although I'm not quite sure I prefer it this way. The downloadable album '...Until The Freeze' is a must-own and must not be overlooked. It might as well be the gem in the package, in fact. But both albums sound fresh and honest and are full of highlights, some unexpected. I can't help but wonder what's next...
It appears that the surroundings in which the albums were recorded played a major role on the creation/delivery of this project, with Levon Helm's influence and feel dominating in quite a few places. Larry Campbell, Levon's band's producer and guitar player, guests on both albums, adding banjo, pedal steel and fiddle to the sound of a more mature and somewhat mellowed down Black Crowes. I wonder whether Levon's brilliant 2007 release, 'Dirt Farmer', had something to do with the studio choice... Levon has just passed away, may his soul rest in peace.
To Chris's and Rich's credit, the songwriting is very strong, surprisingly fitting. 'Before The Frost...Until The Freeze' must be their most important release since, perhaps, 'Amorica' in 1994.