“Hallelujah, come join the jubilee.”

That’s the invitation opening “Warpaint,” the first new studio recording in seven years from The Black Crowes, who will perform Oct. 15 at Merrill Auditorium in Portland with special guest Howlin’ Rain.

Tickets, $39.50, reserved seating, go on sale at noon Friday, July 18. They are available at PortTix at 20 Myrtle St., Portland, by calling 842-0800 and online at www.livenation.com.

“Warpaint,” the first on the band’s own Silver Arrow Records, distributed through Megaforce/Sony Red BMG, builds on the band’s trademark brew of rock, blues, country, soul and gospel.

“‘Warpaint’ is a declaration of our soulful independence,” said Chris Robinson, the creative force behind the band for the past 18 years along with his brother Rich. “The thing about the last three years has been, how do we continue to be independent? How do we begin to exercise control and freedom over our own trip?”

“Warpaint,” the band’s seventh studio recording, features 11 songs all of which were written by Chris and Rich Robinson, except “God’s Got It,” penned by the Reverend Charlie Jackson.

Making up The Black Crowes, besides Chris (vocals) and Rich (guitars), are Steve Gorman (drums) and Sven Pipien (bass). “Warpaint” introduces new members Adam MacDougall (keyboards) and guitarist Luther Dickinson, known for his work in the North Mississippi All-Stars and The Word, where he performs with Robert Randolph and John Medeski.

Right from their start in 1990 – with the six million-selling “Shake Your Money Maker,” a pivotal work that helped kick-start an authentic style of rock ‘n’ roll in America – The Black Crowes have been at odds with prevailing commercial trends. Their heady mix of ’70s inflected rock, funkadelic soul and heartfelt roots music jostled against the hair metal and high-gloss pop getting airplay at the start of that decade.

While the sheer attitude and charm of “Hard To Handle” and “Twice As Hard” managed to make waves, the intervening years have seen the band steadily evolve an increasingly refined, singular sound that blends the best parts of hard rock, gospel, country and psychedelia to create something light years beyond the young men who recorded “She Talks To Angels.”

The Black Crowes not only had something to say, they became known as one of rock’s best live acts. Their panoramic live shows feature alternating set lists and signature musical explorations designed to take audiences on a journey.

The band took a break starting in late 2001 that turned out to be a four-year hiatus. Then on Jan. 11, 2005, The Black Crowes announced their return to the live concert stage with five shows at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. All five concerts sold out instantly so two more shows were added. They also sold out.

Since then, The Black Crowes have explored their extensive catalog on main stages from Bonnaroo to the Voodoo Music Experience to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Now with “Warpaint,” the band is ready to tour the world and to continue doing things its way.


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