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The Black Crowes ‘We Have a Psychic Thing’ Rediscovers Southern Consistency with ‘Joy Bastards’ Reunion Album



How Chris and Rich Robinson buried the hatchet and got back into the groove for their first album in 15 years.

Nobody knows you like your brother. But, oh brother, when siblings scrap– you better believe that the bruises are deeper, the damage longer-lasting and the chance of saying something truly hurtful much, much higher.




Black Crowes Prepping First New Album in 15 Years, ‘Happiness Bastards’



That might explain why, for reasons they ‘d rather not revisit in microscopic detail, Black Crowes singer/lyricist Chris Robinson, 57 and brother guitarist Rich Robinson, 54, did not speak to each other for eight years. Not a single word– resulting in missed birthdays, health crises, birth of children, marriages and divorces, but also the mundane, everyday check-ins brothers are used to making with each other. Not a syllable exchanged after spending more than half their lives making music and touring together.

But to hear the brothers tell it today, there wasn’t one single incident or backstage blow-up that definitively pushed them apart. At least not one either man can manage to (or want to) remember.

” In the Victorian age, we would be considered eccentrics,” says Chris about the hard-to-pin-down story of how the Southern blooze brothers went from wowing crowds to a stony, years-long total communication breakdown that seems hard to fathom. “I’m not sure what you would call that today, but we decided on [this reunion] through an intermediary– someone in the middle who could handle the situation with kid gloves.”

” A band is a family dynamic and on top of that we have an [actual] family dynamic … the two heads of this band are family and everyone has to deal with that, no matter how toxic,” explains Rich– who, in keeping with the sibling’s preference spoke to Billboard on a separate call from his brother; they also keep their own dressing rooms on the road. “That creates its own dynamic in the band and it all became incredibly toxic and we split up for a long time and in those years of doing what we do it allowed Chris and I to really get outside of this thing.”

In classic Robinson fashion, that “thing” also included Chris going solo during their mid-2000s hiatus with the eye-pokingly named Chris Robinson Brotherhood side project. Ouch. The almost too-perfect sibling rivalry storyline marched on following the release of 2001’s Lions and a joint tour with fellow famously quarrelsome brother duo Oasis– winkingly called the Tour of Brotherly Love– after which the Crowes went on hiatus in 2002. They got back together with a different lineup in 2005, then embarked on what seemed like their final tour: the 2010 Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys outing, after which they went on indefinite hiatus again.

Another brief reunion run in 2012-2013, a hard, seemingly final break came in 2015 over what Rich described at the time was his brother’s demand for a bigger share of the income pie. Rich says the split was preceded by the Robinsons falling into the “same traps” in the midst of what had become an “incredibly toxic” atmosphere. That break turned into a hell-freezes-over situation, during which both brothers swear they never once spoke for nearly a decade– until reuniting around the 30th anniversary of Shake Your Money Maker, after a chance encounter in, of all places, an airport Hilton in Cincinnati.

The back-and-forth, hot-and-cold yo-yoing became a trying signature of the Marietta, GA-bred duo who bonded early over their love of classic blues and Muscle Shoals soul, British folk and Southern rock. Rich was just 17 when he wrote “She Talks to Angels” and a year older when the group recorded their 1990 debut album, Shake Your Moneymaker The division of labor– Chris writes the lyrics and sings, Rich writes and composes the music– worked like a charm, as the band released five more albums throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, scoring such MTV and rock radio hits as “Angels,” “Jealous Again,” “Remedy,” “Thorn in My Pride” and an iconic cover of Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle.”


After their hardest break to date, the duo finally got back on the same page last year to record their back-to-the-start album Happiness Bastards— due out Friday (March 15) on their Silver Arrow label. The Robinsons’ first new album under the Crowes banner in 15 years explodes out of the gate with the galloping Stones-y boogie rocker “Bedside Manner” and keeps the torrid, hip-swinging pace through the grungy snarl of “Rats and Clowns,” the hand-clapping, soul stirring first single “Wanting and Waiting” and the pugnacious southern blues “Dirty Cold Sun.” It is a loud, gritty reaffirmation of the Crowes’ signature sound, albeit one spiked with the memories, and scars, of more than 30 years of hard road.

” It wasn’t like I got on the phone and said, ‘Let’s do this, I love you, I want to talk about where I feel I failed us,'” Chris says of the rapprochement. The hard-won harmony came after what the vocalist dubbed years of “greed and avarice” around the band and his own self-described stubbornness and “egotism” mucking up the works. “We’re a bit too Southern for that [I love you stuff], with English stiff-upper-lip bulls– t going on.”

While Chris says he couldn’t articulate precisely what he missed about working with his brother at the time of their break-up because of calcified, long-running “real or imagined” resentments he harbored, what he knew was that music was, and has always been, “the glowing heart” of his soul. And so, he knew he had to get over the roadblocks they ‘d each set up to kickstart his rock ‘n roll heart again. “We were happy and excited and there was definitely some trepidation about what it would be like,” Chris admits, saying that anxiety stemmed in part from the realization that they had dug such a cavernous hole in their professional and personal lives.

” The things that I missed and made me feel low was, ‘Oh Richard has some medical operation,’ and the human part of being a brother thinking how that must have been scary– and I wasn’t there for you,” Chris says, adding that, yes, it was “very weird” that they hadn’t met each other’s kids: Rich has seven and Chris has two.

Though Rich went on to tour with Bad Company, produced other bands, wrote and produced four solo records and make three others with his his band The Magpie Salute, what would always ultimately happen was he would look to his side and see what was missing. “I was always still writing for Chris … every song I write I still think about how he will sing the chorus and about giving him a platform to sing over,” Rich says in a blood-is-thicker sentiment that no amount of water could dilute. “It’s hardwired in there.”

That’s why after that hotel bump-in Rich says they agreed to clear the decks, take responsibility for the triggers that set them off and not let “some external force come back in and f– k around with us … start from scratch, bring in new people and put our relationship first.”

The fire this time is evident from the opening Happiness salvo, “Bedside Manners,” in which the brothers sound shot out of a cannon on a track Rich says came together in a lighting flash five minutes, much as “She Talks to Angels” did three decades before. “This one f– king plopped out and it was so great, Chris and I were both right there with it,” he says of the song that rumbles with his galloping guitar topped by his brother’s go-ahead-and-read-into-it-what-you-will, snarling lyrics about “what you’re doing to me/ Stab a knife in my back and then you want a please/ With friends like these who needs enemies.”

Chris says the homage to decadent rock and roll living and trashed hotel rooms also has a message about dealing with other people’s judgement, as well as an undercurrent of the Robinsons’ determination to retain an “element of defiance in a world dictated by compliance … we can deal with that and we’ve survived that,” the singer says.

You can also hear the Robinson’s unique alchemy reignited in the patented ache in Chris’ voice on the churning “Cross Your Fingers” and the Exile on Main Street– like acoustic ballad “Wilted Rose,” which features backing vocals from country singer Lainey Wilson, a frequent collaborator of the album’s producer, Jay Joyce.


Both men say the high-energy first single, “Wanting and Waiting,” came in a flash, though Chris thinks his brother might be under the impression that it’s a love song, while he sees it as more “woeful.” In another classic Robinson move, they haven’t discussed the song’s meaning– because of what the vocalist says is a superstition that if they started hashing their inspirations out, “these things might go away.”

It is also easy to put on your therapist cap to deconstruct the seemingly olive-branch-extending, heartbreak lines in Beatlesque album-closing acoustic ballad “Kindred Friend.” On that touching track Chris croons, “Kindred friend, where have you been?/ I guess it’s been a while/ Through thick and thin/ And many times again/ Always make me smile.” Rich loves that the sentiment in the song is “cool but not obvious– it could be that or something else,” while Chris agrees it could work “on a number of levels,” chronicling his relationship with Rich, a dear old friend he’s fallen out with, a former lover or even the band’s audience.

” The mystery is that as different as we are he believes equally in that pure heart of things,” Chris says lovingly of his younger brother. The singer pointed to the moment that proved that to him: a 2019 audition for new band members that marked the first time the brothers had performed together in years. “It was just so powerful,” he recalls. “I can’t take one of the most unique guitar players in rock ‘n roll history out of how important that is, and he feels the same way about my talent and what I do.”

Chris Robinson chalks it up to a “psychic” connection, but a brotherly one as well– and says the new album’s rich tapestry and heartfelt emotion is also a result of the emotional depth each man developed to deal with one another during their time apart. “What we do is special and that’s what we have to nurture,” he says. “It has given us so much.”

Check out the Black Crowes’ first music video in 16 years below.


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Norah Jones’ Top 10 Album Sales No. 1 Jazz Charts ‘Visions’ Debuts




The set leads both the overall Jazz Albums and Contemporary Jazz Albums tallies.

Norah Jones Visions bows at No. 9 on Billboard‘s Top Album Sales chart (dated March 23) and at No. 1 on both the overall Jazz Albums and Contemporary Jazz Albums rankings. It’s the eighth top 10 on the Album Sales tally for Jones, and her fourth leader on both Jazz Albums and Contemporary Jazz Albums.

Visions also enters at No. 40 on the Top Rock & & Alternative Albums chart, her first debut on the list since Dec. 2013, when Foreverly, her collaborative album with Billie Joe Armstrong, opened at No. 7 on its way to a No. 4 peak in Jan. 2014.

Visions was preceded by the radio-promoted single “Running,” which has so-far peaked at No. 7 on the Adult Alternative Airplay chart– marking her eighth top 10 and highest-charting song on the list in over a decade, since “Happy Pills” hit No. 4 in 2012.

Also in the top 10 of the new Top Album Sales chart: the latest releases from Ariana Grande, Judas Priest, xikers and Bleachers arrive.

Billboard‘s Top Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. The chart’s history dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now Luminate. Pure album sales were the sole measurement utilized by the Billboard 200 albums chart through the list dated Dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a methodology that blends album sales with track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

In the tracking week ending March 14 (which is reflected on the March 23-dated Top Album Sales chart), Visions sold 7,000 copies in the U.S., according to Luminate. Of that sum, physical sales comprise 5,500 (3,500 on CD and 2,000 on vinyl) and digital download sales comprise 1,500. The album was available in four vinyl variants (including exclusive iterations for Barnes & & Noble, indie retailers and Spotify), a standard CD, a Target-exclusive CD (with a bonus track and a poster) and a signed CD (available in Jones’ webstore).

At No. 1 on Top Album Sales, Ariana Grande’s Eternal Sunshine starts with 77,000 copies sold– earning Grande her sixth chart-topper. The set was available in a dozen physical configurations and two digital download offerings.

Veteran rock band Judas Priest starts at No. 2 with Invincible Shield (23,000 sold), scoring the group its third top 10-charting set on Top Album Sales. (The list began in 1991, well after Judas Priest began its overall Billboard chart career in 1978 on the Billboard 200 with Stained Class) The new album’s first-week sales were bolstered by its availability across six vinyl variants, a standard CD and a Target-exclusive CD with a lenticular cover.

South Korean pop group xikers nabs its highest-charting effort on Top Album Sales, and second top 10-charting set, as House of Tricky: Trial and Error debuts at No. 3 with 12,500 copies sold (the act’s best sales week). The set’s sales were almost entirely from CDs, with a minimal number of sales from digital downloads. The album was issued in 10 collectible CD editions, all including branded paper merchandise (some randomized).

TWICE’s With YOU-th falls 1-4 in its third week on the chart, selling 10,500 copies (down 37%).

Bleachers’ new self-titled album opens at No. 5 with 9,500 copies sold. It’s the second top 10-charting effort the for the act, led by Jack Antonoff. The album was available in a standard 14-track edition on digital download, CD and cassette. It was also available on 10 vinyl editions, all boasting bonus tracks and most pressed on colored vinyl.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 on the new Top Album Sales chart: Taylor Swift’s chart-topping 1989 (Taylor’s Version) falls 3-6 (9,000; up 2%), Swift’s former leader Lover is steady at No. 7 (8,000; up 8%), LE SSERAFIM’s Easy falls 2-8 (7,000; down 30%) and Swift’s chart-topping Folklore dips 8-10 (6,000; up 4%).

In the week ending March 14, there were 1.196 million albums sold in the U.S. (up 3.7% compared to the previous week). Of that sum, physical albums (CDs, vinyl LPs, cassettes, etc) comprised 909,000 (up 7%) and digital albums comprised 287,000 (down 5.5%).

There were 474,000 CD albums sold in the week ending March 14 (up 7.3% week-over-week) and 430,000 vinyl albums sold (up 6.7%). Year-to-date CD album sales stand at 4.792 million (down 30.8% compared to the same time frame a year ago) and year-to-date vinyl album sales total 5.031 million (down 48%).

Overall year-to-date album sales total 13.132 million (down 36.3% compared to the same year-to-date time frame a year ago). Year-to-date physical album sales stand at 9.872 million (down 40.9%) and digital album sales total 3.260 million (down 16.5%).

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Lenny Kravitz Nominated to Rock Hall ‘It’s a Beautiful Thing’




The rock legend chatted with Jimmy Fallon about his Rock Hall nomination and new album “Blue Electric Light”.

If form is a guide, Lenny Kravitz ought to be a shoo-in for the Rock Hall class of 2024.

With a new album out in May, the veteran rocker has been soaking up the plaudits on the awards trail, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, presented earlier this month (with a savage roasting by his daughter Zoë Kravitz), and the Music Icon Award at the 2024 People’s Choice Awards, held last month in Santa Monica, Calif.

The most-coveted music award of them all potentially awaits, a spot in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, for which Kravitz is nominated alongside the likes of Mary J. Blige, Oasis, Dave Matthews Band, Cher, Mariah Carey, Kool & & the Gang and more.

Nothing is certain. Though Kravitz is taking the time to smell the flowers.

” It’s a beautiful thing. It’s lovely to receive flowers,” he explained when he stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, for an interview which aired Wednesday night, March 20.

The “Fly Away” singer’s recording career took off in the early ’90s, following a bidding war among the-then five major labels. He decided on Virgin, and the label’s promise that the multi-hyphenate would have total creative control.

” I promised myself,” he told host Jimmy Fallon, “when I was coming up I never took the time to enjoy those kinds of things. I was always moving forward, not thinking about the past or what was happening. So, I said when this stuff starts happening again, I’m going to take the time, and I’m going to enjoy the moments because it’s beautiful.”

Awards are a bonus for Kravitz, who is readying the May 24 release of Blue Electric Light, his 12th studio album. The collection, he remarked, is about “celebration, life, humanity, sexuality, sensuality, spirituality.”

Its title track came to Kravitz in a dream during the final stretch of recording sessions in the Bahamas. He cut it the next day, and guitarist Craig Ross persuaded Lenny to dump his previously planned album title.

Blue Electric Light is “just that vibration of love, of god, of spirit,” he explained to Fallon.

Kravitz will support the album with a summer European arena and festival tour, kicking off June 23 at Sporthalle in Hamburg, Germany. But first, the rock star and his band gave a taste of things to come with a late-night performance of album track “Human,” a song about us “spiritual beings having a human existence, the journey, man.”

Watch the late-night interview and performance below.



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Billboards Hottest Top 10 Countdown for March 23rd | Billboard News




New entries enter the Hot 100 top 10 with Drake and Ariana Grande, Benson Boone and Teddy Swims hit new highs and we crown a new No. 1. This is the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 for the week dated March 23rd. Tetris KellyWith Ariana Grande’s new album out and monster tracks from Beyoncé and

New entries enter the Hot 100 top 10 with Drake and Ariana Grande, Benson Boone and Teddy Swims hit new highs and we crown a new No. 1. This is the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 for the week dated March 23rd.

Tetris Kelly
With Ariana Grande’s new album out and monster tracks from Beyoncé and Teddy Swims, who’s going to end up on top? This is the Billboard Hot 100 for the week dated March 23rd.

Back in the top 10 is “Yes, And?”.

Zach and Kacey slip two spots to No. 9 as Tate McRae falls to No. 8.

4Batz and Drake blast from No. 61 to No. 7.

Beyoncé is down to No. 6.

” Lovin’ On Me” is in at No. 5.

Ye and friends fall from No. 1 to No. 4.

” Beautiful Things” is up a spot to No. 3.

While Teddy Swims stays locked in at No. 2.

And with the release of Eternal Sunshine, Ariana Grande grabs her ninth No. 1 with “We Can’t Be Friends.”

Watch the full video above!

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