Black Crowes Warpaint Live

It wasn't a surprise in 2007 when a Maxim critic admitted to reviewing the Black Crowes' Warpaint without having heard it. The album was supposed to be the band's triumphant return to the marketplace, and although what that writer did was unforgivable he was fully correct in assuming that the Crowes weren't about to alter their brand of Southern-fried blooze (even using that cliché now feels painfully lazy). On the other hand, it's never been a crime to like the Black Crowes and Warpaint wasn't a bad album on the whole. As if to prove that point, here it is again in its entirety, live. The difference? Not much, apart from more histrionics from singer Chris Robinson, and new lead guitarist Luther Dickinson showing that he definitely belongs in the band, with some dazzling slide work. That aside, most fans will immediately want to jump to the second disc featuring some typically well-executed covers of Delaney & Bonnie, the Rolling Stones and Moby Grape. Yes, I could have written this review without listening to Warpaint Live but believe me, I did, and it was worth it. (Silver Arrow/Eagle Rock)