reCAP :: As The Crow Flies :: 2018.04.17

Apr 18  / Wednesday
Words by Chad Berndtson Photos by Marc Millman

The ol’ Cap has seen plenty of landmark moments, and last night played host to a significant one for 2018 — the launch of As the Crow Flies, a band of ringers behind mighty Chris Robinson, focused on Black Crowes classics and an audience that, well, really wants to hear Robinson sing them again. And who can blame it? Robinson’s soul-drenched howl was a key ingredient in one of the true knockout rock bands of the last quarter century, and while plenty of the Crowes mojo lives on — notably in Robinson’s own Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and of course with The Magpie Salute, comprised of many former Crowes — it’s sure fun to summon some of that specific energy again and hear Crowes staple after Crowes staple with Robinson front and center stage, all strut-and-holler.

That’s what As the Crow Flies had to offer: two hours of mostly Crowes and no frills, just frissons. The band lit into “Remedy” and kept up a speedy, rock-radio pace with “Sting Me,” “Twice as Hard,” and an extra-Stonesy “By Your Side,” which is where it seemed to shed some initial tentativeness and start to go for it. And what a band it was; a guitar tandem of Audley Freed and Marcus King, a crackling rhythm section of Tony Leone and Andy Hess, and mighty Adam MacDougall on keys, finding the right balance of psychedelia and barroom. You’d call it a band of pros and you’d be quite right; all have been in the Crowes or CRB orbit to some extent before save for King, the blues-and-soul upstart and all around wunderkind proving his bona fides to be playing this music as a member of this decorated corps.

The brisk set was encouraging, especially for a band playing its first-ever public show. It did both quick-turn rockers and long-player jams like “Wiser Time,” “Thorn in My Pride,” and an inspired romp through “Hard to Handle” and “Hush" (the Joe South-written 60s classic), where the soloing members of the band each went for a patient stretch-out and yielded some inspired improvisation. A lone encore of Ten Years After’s “I’d Love to Change the World” — one of a handful of on point covers -- corked the night.

Setlist: Remedy Sting Me Twice As Hard By Your Side I Can’t Stand the Rain Nonfiction Good Friday > Almost Cut My Hair Wiser Time She Talks to Angels Thorn in My Pride My Morning Song Jealous Again Hard to Handle > Hush > Hard to Handle —————— I’d Love to Change the World

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