18 May 2007

Rediscovered: Black Crowes - Shake Your Money Maker

    Clean as a whistle
    Smellin' like a rose
      The Black Crowes
      "Twice as Hard"

Over a year ago I posted the first of what was to be a series of posts titled "Rediscovered!" These posts would be to highlight music I neglected for a long time that I've recently listened to again, recalling why I liked them so much. So today I am rediscovering the "Rediscovered!" series on my blog. A recent post on Jeri Smith-Ready's blog mentioned The Black Crowes' Shake Your Money Maker, an album I hadn't played in a year or more until last week. What a great album this is.

The first track is "Twice as Hard," whose openning guitar chords you cannot help but play loud. They set the tone for the entire albumn, informing the listenner that there will be no fancy effects, overdubbing, or digital magic. The guitar and drums are clean and tight, the vocals raw, and the only sound effect you'll find is a car crash at the beginning of "Thick and Thin."

The heart and soul of Shake Your Money Maker are the guitar/vocal combination of brothers Rich and Chris Robinson. The percussion is firm and precise - never over the top - and really comes through on songs like "Jealous Again" and their cover of the Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle." Piano and organ riffs add some extra depth on tracks like "Sister Luck" and the stand-out "She Talks to Angels."

My last rediscovered album was a collection of b-sides and outtakes, and it maybe wasn't such a surprise that it sank below my RADAR and gathered some dust. Shake Your Money Maker is none of that, and I don't know why I left it alone so long.


Sharon GR said...

Over the weekend we played Paul Simon's Graceland, which I hadn't heard in several years. I haven't been able to get it out of my head since. What a great album!

However, I played it enough in college that I don't actually need to play it again. I have it on constant replay in my head now.

Rob S. said...

Have you heard his follow-up, Rhythm of the Saints? It's nowhere near as catchy as Graceland, but after a few listens it becomes something really captivating.

It's been a while since I've listened to the entirety of Shake Your Money Maker. Some songs I've heard fairly recently (and have built up that "tired-of" resistance to again), but the others do deserve antoher listen.