The sibling rivalry between singer Chris Robinson and guitarist Rich Robinson has often kept The Black Crowes apart during their 40 years as a band, but during their triumphant return to L.A.’s Greek Theatre on a brisk Friday night in April, a much more familial atmosphere prevailed, with Ronnie Wood and Chuck Leavell of The Rolling Stones joining the party.

In Chuck’s case, handling the keys on “Hard to Handle” and “She Talks to Angels” was practically old hat. He played on the original recordings of those tracks, along with the rest of The Black Crowes’ debut album, Shake Your Money Maker.

In Ronnie’s case, performing with The Black Crowes was a fresher phenomenon, though he has long been one of Rich’s favorite guitarists. Moreover, the band accommodated the Stones legend by inviting him up to cover “Stay With Me” by the Faces, Ronnie’s former outfit with Rod Stewart.

In any case, the audience was delighted to see The Black Crowes in action supporting the group’s first new album in 15 years, Happiness Bastards. As much as the Greek was buzzing with opening-night-of-the-season energy, the evening’s entertainment made sure to capitalize on it—and then some.

The Robinson brothers and their cohort turned early and often to their new album, which dropped in mid-March. They opened at the Greek the same way they do on the record—with “Bedside Manners” and “Rats and Clowns”. A couple songs later, they sprinkled in the twangy “Cross Your Fingers”. Smack-dab in the middle of the set, they dropped “Wanting and Waiting”, the lead single from Happiness Bastards. Shortly thereafter, they indulged the fans who showed up with a multicolored sign that read “Flesh Wound” by playing that track.

All of the new material was of a piece with the rest of the selections from The Black Crowes’ catalog, from “Twice As Hard”, “Gone”, and “Dirty Cold Sun” to a set-ending run of “Thorn In My Pride”, “Jealous Again”, and “Remedy”.

When he wasn’t busy strutting across the stage in his eye-catching red suit, Chris shared stories and acknowledged the journey that he and The Black Crowes have been on for the last four decades. At one point, the Marietta, GA native reflected on living in the hills above L.A. during the 1990s and how the city sparkled like a diamond, as a lead-in to “Cursed Diamond”.

After an encore cover of The Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Head”, the band bade the Greek audience farewell to continue on with their year of extensive touring. The Black Crowes will wind their way across North America through early May before spending the remainder of spring gigging around the U.K. and Europe.

As of now, the group’s schedule for the summer is clear, but come late-September, they will be back on the road, this time to support Aerosmith on their Peace Out farewell tour. For a complete list of upcoming Black Crowes tour dates and to purchase tickets, visit the band’s website.

Chuck Leavell will join Gov’t Mule along with other special guest including John Scofield, Ivan Neville, Karl Denson, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Daniel Donato at Daze Between New Orleans, which will also feature sets by Lettuce (with special guest John Scofield, Galactic Featuring Jelly Joseph, Krasno/Moore ProjectDaniel Donato’s Cosmic CountryDogs In A Pile, Cool Cool Cool, Karina Rykman, The Rumble Ft. Chief Joseph Boudreaux Jr., and The Iceman Special. Click here for more details and head here to purchase tickets.

The Black Crowes With Chuck Leavell – “Hard To Handle” – 4/12/24

[Video: Wheresaxl1993]

The Black Crowes With Chuck Leavell – “She Talks To Angels” – 4/12/24
[Video: Wheresaxl1993]

The Black Crowes With Ronnie Wood – “Stay With Me” (Faces) – 4/12/24

[Video: Rex Cunningham]