ootrto moss ‘__
The Poisons: country ‘ rockers The Edinburgh-based country rock quartet The Felsons are currently attracting a lot of attention. Their debut CD. One Step Ahead oft/w Posse. has received glowing reviews. while CMT. the European cable channel wing of Nashville’s Country Music Television. are airing their 'l Ain’t Been Anywhere Yet' video. Not bad going for a band which didn’t really exist when they tnade the album. as lead singer and songwriter-in-chief Dean Owens explained.
'When we recorded the album. it was only really me and Kevin McGuire. the bass player — the rest were session players. I took the rough mixes with me to America and got a bit of interest over there. so when I came back. we finished the mix and had the album ready to release.
‘That meant we needed a proper band to back it up. Colin MacFarlane. who played guitars on the album. was really keen to join. and we recruited ,Keith Burns. who'd done The Proclaimers among other things — I knew he was interested in country. and wouldn't bring a huge rock drum kit. The Felsons came from Eddie Felson. a pseudonym I had been using on the pub crrcurt.‘
The band are on the cusp of upward mobility. still playing a regular free gig at Whistlebinkies in Edinburgh (catch them on Fri l2). but also moving onto the festival and concert circuit. The exposure on CMT will do them no harm. either.
‘We did the video pretty cheaply — the home movie-style stuff was shot by me and my girlfriend in America. and the band material on the railway lines was done in Dalkeith. The footage
with the Old West street was actually down to a company called Pine Country in Morningside. who import furniture — they literally knocked together a whole street for us to shoot in! -.
The F elsmrs play at the Tam 0 'Sltctmer Marquee, Glasgow Green. on Sat
ma:— Something to Growe over
Chris Robinson sighs deeply. and considers for a moment the changes
The Black Crovves have undergone over the last few years. ‘I think it's all down to growing up. y'know'.’ I wish there was a more romantic story behind it. We were once just some kids in a band who loved music. and now eight years later we're musicians. It's also a question of communication between ourselves. and I think now. alter four records. we're finally starting to have a view of w hat we've done and where we‘re going.’ The Black Crowes‘ new album. 'I'ltr't'e Stu/Atty .-\m/ ()Ilt’ ('l/urm. certainly reflects this new blend of circumspection and maturity.
Their last album xlnmrit'u. complete with its cover of a ftrll frontal female groin. was a darker. ntore serious. more musically complex affair than their ultra-successful debut Slur/to Your Money Maker and its similarly lucrative follow-up The Sour/tern Hurmmty' Am/ Mum-til ('(ml/mrtimt. ll may have bemused fans in Britain who had been ltrrcd to the band by their previously tempestttous singles (such as the majestic ‘Remedy'l and compelling concerts. Chris is unconcerned about the highs and lows- of his band's history. ‘We're relaxed about it. because we don't really have arty ambitions or motivations that are financial or inwardly motivated. We already have an audience that loves what we do. and lets trs experiment and share our experiences with them. and vice vet'sa.'
The controversies surrounding The Black Crowes in the past have usually centred on either their loose tongues or their allegedly Herculean drug intake.
l¢'_\i“g V N‘s»
The Black Crowes: 'six ugly men trom Georgla‘ . . .
('hris laughs this off. ‘Well. drugs make better headlines than "Six trgly men from (ieorgia make another strong album"? .-\s for self-importance. I think it's harder to be humble. Yes. you're proud and you have feelings. and when w c were young we were defensive. But when you're older. you inst don't ftrck around any more. You inst have to avoid being a greedy. selfish and egotistical person and you don't have to worry. We don't have anything to do with our egos. we're very lttrmblc. .-\ftcr all. music is a great big body of water. and we're iust sitting on an inner-tube
‘I don’t think we’ve ever admitted to being musically innovative or anything, i think we’ve always been the same. I don’t even think we’re tackling anything now that we haven’t tried to tackle beiore.’
floating around. trying to soak it all up.‘
The Crowes vital. often luscious blend of bluegrass. country. blues. R ‘n' ll. and folk music is testament to this attitude. Certainly. no one cotrld accuse
the Black ('rowes of being purveyors of
the avant-garde. ‘I don't think we've ever admitted to being musically innovative or anything. I think we've always been the same. I don't ey en think w e're tackling anything now that we haven't tried to tackle before. bttt experience and time have changed its. We realise we're part of the broader subject of music. and that's an ancient thing. We can associate better with the last 50 years of it. that's all. lispecially its being Southern musicians. w e're unashamedly traditionalist. even if we do try and put it in a tnodcrn context. but that's what rock 'n' roll is. isn't it." The Black ('rovves feel more positive than ever about their future. arid their new record is a perfect reflection of this. ('lil‘is sltiiles. 'l loyc ll. ll reflects a really positive. special energy for as. For trs to work together and have a smile on otrr faces the w hole way through is a completely new thing for its. Having said that. I don't think we could do that now. without having been throtrgh all the things we have in the past eight years. Right now. I think we‘re about the tuost tmconventional rock 'n' roll band in the world.‘ tl’hil Miller) The Black ('r'tm't's I't‘/(’(I.\(’ "I'll/‘t't' Slur/vex And One ('IHII'HI' on .lu/t 22.
. . . and as they were lifait cattle, lntlnitely more handsome locomotion
35 The List 12-25 Jul 1996’