Bond of Brothers: The Black Crowes Are Back, and Bygones Are Bygones

The band has longtime fans waiting for them: “I love the Black Crowes, and have since hearing ‘Hard to Handle’,” said Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, who booked the band to headline his annual Grammy-night charity event this year. “Chris and Rich share our band’s love of English blues, R&B and flat-out, kick-ass rock ’n’ roll. They’re the real deal.”

AFTER THE CHATEAU MARMONT lunch, the band headed to an evening event in Burbank to promote “Happiness Bastards” with a mini concert for a few hundred contest winners and invited guests that would be broadcast live on iHeartRadio.

Rich quietly noodled on his guitar in one dressing room, with his son Quinn, 23, an aspiring musician, keeping him company. (Rich has seven children, ranging in age from 3 to 27.) Down the hall, Chris held court in his, riffing on his favorite British comedies (Season 1 of “Absolutely Fabulous”; a surrealist puppet show called “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared”) and exuberantly for the rest of the band, jumping from Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz” to Prince’s “Party Up.” The contrast between rooms is stark, but it’s no longer a source of discord.

“In the past, I’d be like, why isn’t Rich in here with me?” Chris said. “And he’d be like, why is Chris so loud and chaotic? Now, we love each other for who we are.”

“Who we are” includes being men in their mid-50s. As a concession to age, Chris, still a “daily cannabis user,” no longer smokes while on tour. “We don’t live like we used to,” he said. “We get on the bus, listen to music, play some gin rummy and go to sleep. No more wilding out until six in the morning.” He scoffed, good-naturedly, at TikTok: “That’s for children. I write with a pen and a notebook.” He boasted about his kids: his son, Ryder, from his marriage to Hudson, now attending N.Y.U.; and his daughter, Cheyenne, 14, who lives in Woodstock with ex-wife number three. “Both my children are lovely, lovely people.”

Onstage, backed by a recently assembled band that includes the on-again-off-again bassist Sven Pipien and two backup singers, the Crowes muscled through their hits, sprinkling in two well-received songs from “Happiness Bastards” and some deeper catalog cuts. Between numbers, a jovial radio jock lobbed some softball questions at them, and the brothers slipped into their parts, with Chris doing most of the talking and Rich chiming in only when pressed.

For much of 2024, the Black Crowes will be back on the road (with separate dressing rooms), performing at theaters and festivals across the United States and Europe. Chris can’t imagine ever doing anything else. “I’m unemployable,” he said. “I’m nuts. But with the band, I get to do things in my own freakish way.”

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