CHRIS ROBINSON Reflects On Backing JIMMY PAGE In 1999 - "He's On Fire When He Plays!"
April 10, 2018, a year ago
Chris Robinson has songs he wants to sing. As frontman for The Black Crowes - one of the most prolific and celebrated rock 'n' roll bands of its generation - he co-wrote classics like "Jealous Again", "Remedy", "She Talks To Angels", "Twice As Hard" and "Sometimes Salvation". With a desire to breathe new life into this storied repertoire, Robinson has gathered five musicians whose musical journeys intertwine with his own, including guitarists Marcus King and Audley Freed, keyboardist Adam MacDougall, bassist Andy Hess and drummer Tony Leone.
Appropriately calling the band, As The Crow Flies, they'll perform shows consisting of music from throughout Robinson's history at a handful of select US dates this spring, while in-between tours with his primary outfit, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.
In an interview with Matt Wake for AL.com, Robinson discusses the tour, performing with Joe Perry at The Roxy in West Hollywood, his influences, and much more. An excerpt from the chat follows:
Matt Wake: Like you, Audley Freed and Andy Hess played on the tour The Black Crowes did backing Jimmy Page around 1999. The As The Crow Flies announcement mentioned the possibility of covering some Led Zeppelin again. What's it like singing to Jimmy Page's guitar? His phrasing and tone just have a way of being so exciting.
Chris Robinson: "When Jimmy picks up the guitar, and he just kkrr, krrr, it's electric you know? It's alive. And that's the thing: it's not a reproduction. Even though he's playing "I Should Have Quit You" or whatever, every time you hear that kabow, bow, bow, bow, bow, bow, kabow. He's on fire when he plays. And of course, that's why I'm up there, that's why he asked me to come sing those songs because I'm not preening and prancing around thinking I'm something I'm not. I want to be on fire as well, in that kind of music."
Matt Wake: I really enjoyed what you did (with Jimmy Page) with "Custard Pie," "Sick Again" and "In My Time of Dying" particularly.
Chris Robinson: "But think about it. I got to open for Robert (Plant) when I was 23 years old. I spent two tours, back-to-back opening for Aerosmith and Robert Plant as a little frontman, so ultimately Robert has my great respect and I had to find some way to sing those songs that people who love Led Zeppelin would still like them but I can't sing like Robert Plant. No one can. So it was cool that Jimmy also, Jimmy's like, "Do your thing. Do your thing." I hear it occasionally when we're driving around, Earle Bailey will play it on Deep Tracks on Sirius XM, and he'll play like "Custard Pie," like you said, and I'll say, "Huh, that's pretty rad, man. We did a good job." And Robert told me that I did a good job so he gave me his blessing so that's all that I needed."
Read the full interview at AL.com.
As The Crow Flies' 17-date tour kicks-off at the legendary Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY on April 17th before quickly cutting south, including performances at Wanee Music Festival in Live Oak, FL, The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and The Joy Theater in New Orleans for a performance during the city's celebrated Jazz & Heritage Festival. The band then heads West, including stops at The Ogden Theatre in Denver, The Wiltern in Los Angeles and The Fox in Oakland before concluding on May 13th at Crystal Ballroom in Portland.
"Spring will be sprung and the songs will be sung. This crow will fly high with old friends and new. Bring on, bring on! I can't wait to hit the stage with some rock 'n' roll for the ages," says Robinson. "It's been five years since I've had the privilege of singing these songs and with Audley Freed, Marcus King, Andy Hess, Adam McDougall and Tony Leone all onboard, a soulful rockin' funky good time is guaranteed!"
Tickets on-sale here.
17 - Port Chester, NY - Capitol Theatre
18 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
21 - Live Oak, FL - Wanee Music Festival
22 - Birmingham, AL - Iron City Birmingham
24 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
25 - Lexington, KY - Machester Music Hall
26 - Chattanooga, TN - The Signal
28 - New Orleans, LA - The Joy Theater
29 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
1 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
2 - Kansas City, MO - The Truman
6 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
8 - Las Vegas, NV - Brooklyn Bowl
9 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
11 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
12 - Lake Tahoe, NV - Montbleu Resort & Casino
13 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom