August 14, 2014 – 4:58 am

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Crows From The Closet [Totonka, 1CD]

Live at The Troubador, West Hollywood, CA; January 8, 1994. Excellent soundboard.

This was an impromptu show featuring Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes); Marc Ford (The Black Crowes); Jimmy Ashhurst (The JuJu Hounds); Eric Bobo (Cypress Hill) and Andy Sturmer (Jellyfish).

Thanks to BZBeatle for sharing this on the net.

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Bill Glahn, Live! Music Review:

OK, here’s a question for any legal eagle in our family of readers. A well-known band (in this case - The Black Crowes) performs under a false moniker at a small club. An astute bootlegger manages to get hold of an excellent soundboard recording of the show and puts it out under the fictitious name, never using the name “Black Crowes” anywhere in the artwork. The closest Totonka comes to using the band’s official name is the term “Crowes” (without “Black”) used in the liner notes. To my knowledge, “Foamfoot” is not a registered trademark and probably doesn’t appear anywhere in the band’s contract with their label.

So in essence, the bootlegger is not trading at all on the band’s likeness or image. Some great artwork in the William Stout tradition is used for the cover with no photos of the band in sight. Since trading on the “image and likeness” of an artist is at the foundation of US copyright law, is this a bootleg? To make matters more complicated, not one Black Crowes-penned tune is contained on this disc! So The Black Crowes are not even entitled to mechanical (songwriting) royalties (although quite a few others are).

This probably doesn’t matter anyhow, since Chris Robinson has expressed his love of bootlegs in no less than Rolling Stone magazine (even causing some nervousness in one store owner by naming his favorite shop to buy bootlegs!) But what if this were a Springsteen bootleg full of cover tunes (many to choose from) recorded previous to the times when the ticket sale became a contract with the “no taping” warnings? Could a company issue such a recording as “the Boss” with artwork of the kind that appeared on Whoopy Cat’s “Lost Radio Show” disc? This is one we’d love to see tested.

Back to Crows From The Closet - Chris Robinson announces that his basement is too small to rehearse in so the band wanted to practice in front of an audience. But the band doesn’t practice any of their own material, instead opting to place their own stamp on a variety of “classic rock” staples and a few long lost gems. And it all gets captured on a superbly mixed soundboard recording. You won’t find anything like this on any other Black Crowes bootleg. There’s even a few guest appearances.

The disc starts off with a version of Walk In My Shadow from Free’s “Tons of Sobs” (first) album, probably well known to our European readers but certainly out of the realm of over-played “classic-rock” tunes that fill the American airwaves. Afer Bottle Of Red Wine, fans finally get to hear Chris Robinson tackle a Steve Marriott tune with the Small Faces’ Tin Soldier. But Robinson picks a lower key than Marriott used so the similarities aren’t as startling as one might think (or hope for).

Actually, it’s on the songs that are the most stylistically removed from the Crowes’ brand of Southern rock ‘n’ soul that shine the most. While Marshall Tucker were considered a “Southern Rock” band, they were, in reality, much closer to today’s country/pop style. In the Crowes’ hands, Take The Highway comes across with a lot more bite, a great deal more groove. The extended dual lead guitar takes the song closer to Allmans-style jamming than Marshall Tucker ever got. The band is aided on this song by Gary Louris of the Jayhawks (mis-labeled on the back cover as Gary Lewis - yuchhhh.) Speaking of the Allmans, the band also romps through that band’s One Way Out.

The biggest surprise, however, is a take on the Band’s Jeremiah [sic] Surrender. The opening riff is so strong and forceful that I didn’t recognize the song until Robinson started singing. No attempt is made here to follow the original’s style. Where the song never seemed to fit in with the Band’s repertoire, the intoxicating guitar riff sounds tailor-made for the Crowes. It’s certainly an obscure choice for a band like the Crowes, but a very intelligent one. It’s obvious that these guys didn’t just borrow a sound - they developed it from a collector’s knowledge of the obscure and overlooked.

A second guest appearance takes place when David Crosby joins the band for a version of his own Long Time Gone. Other highlights include versions of the Grateful Dead’s Deal and Clapton’s Presence Of The Lord.

No date is given and the location is given simply as the Troubadour. This is not the secret show from last winter when the band performed as Blessed Chloroform at The Whiskey. The cover is a brilliant take-off on the Grateful Dead’s Skeletons From The Closet. Crows From The Closet is an all-around masterpiece in the best tradition of bootlegs.

Note: Bill Glahn was the editor of Live! Music Review. The above was published in August 1995. Since then, the date for the show has been identified.

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SBD > DAT (16/44) > R44 (wav) > TLH (flac)

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Walk In My Shadow 6:01 (10.1MB)
Track 02. Bottle Of Red Wine 4:25 (7.4MB)
Track 03. Tin Soldier 5:18 (8.9MB)
Track 04. band introductions 2:33 (4.3MB)
Track 05. Take The Highway (with Gary Louris) 7:05 (11.9MB)
Track 06. Deal 6:22 (10.7MB)
Track 07. Love Me Till The Sun Shines 6:57 (11.7MB)
Track 08. Long Time Gone (with David Crosby) 13:44 (23.1MB)
Track 09. Jemima Jeremiah Surrender 4:11 (7.0MB)
Track 10. One Way Out 9:42 (16.3MB)
Track 11. Presence Of The Lord 10:28 (17.6MB)
77 mins

Click here to order Black Crowes releases.

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  1. 11 Responses to “FOAMFOOT (Black Crowes) - WEST HOLLYWOOD 1994”

  2. great stuff..not often you hear anyone tackle the Band and the Allmans , thanks.

    By sluggo on Aug 14, 2014

  3. Jeremiah Surrender by The Band? I think you mean Jemimah Surrender….

    By Willis on Aug 14, 2014

  4. Excuse me, I meant “Jemima,” no h.

    By Willis on Aug 14, 2014

  5. Thanks Willis.

    By bigozine2 on Aug 14, 2014

  6. Thanks a lot for these unexpected gems !!

    By Lodger on Aug 14, 2014

  7. Never been a fan of the Crowes and their retro attitude, but hey, this is a great surprise!

    By Tony Lauber on Aug 14, 2014

  8. Never been a fan of the Crowes and their retro attitude

    that`s exactly why I love the Crowes tony , they are keeping that great rock and roll sound, reminiscent of humble pie,free one else is doing it and it was too good of a sound too lose.

    By sluggo on Aug 14, 2014

  9. to answer the question on top.. according to the law.. yes it is a bootleg. they dont even make a distinction between bootlegs counterfeits and pirated recordings. so the likelihood that they would distinguish something like this from a bootleg is nil. they also had a hard time realizing the problem with the theory of fixed medium vs non fixed medium in the case where a fla man vs sinatra came up a few yrs back. that isnt the only time this was an issue but its one that i recall. if a particular recording isnt even on a fixed medium should the accused even be charged with a crime of distributing? he lost the case btw. not a giant amount of money mind u but he still lost.
    the fact is that in so far as royalties go the band involved in performing isnt being bootlegged but the songs do belong to someone. they arent paying the owners of those songs for the right to perform them. from what i understand they should be doing this. so long as they are still within the domain of the publishing years etc. u know.. that 50 year thing if it wasnt extended etc.

    now.. if there was no charge for attending the show itself.. that may being up another point but i dont know what happened at this event 20 years ago. i have no idea if there was a cover at the door. a boot cd was in fact produced. someone made money on this item. a profit was indeed made. should those ppl be entitled to that income? if its not their performances on said medium then what right do they have to distribute it? while the songs themselves may not belong to the people performing them the performances of these songs do. without those there is no recording. their names are what moved this product. not the band name foamfoot but the musicians who had already been established therein. if those band members werent being cashed in on.. to use their notoriety in an effort to push said cd.. then it would be a different story. their names do appear on the back of the cd.

    however.. if the band involved felt there was any value in this recording.. which they clearly had access to themselves.. they would have released it and stopped sales of the bootleg. after all.. boots often sell for $20 while regular cds 20 yrs ago would sell for $10-12.

    while a musician likes boots it sure doesnt prevent them from stopping them. jimmy page collects them.. yet he isnt stopping his lawyers from preventing this site from putting zep shows up. is he? page controls the zep name and all things related to it. if he wants to allow people to trade and share freely he could. liking bootlegs and allowing fans to collect them freely are 2 very different things.

    By darth on Aug 15, 2014

  10. My dad gave me a valuable piece of advice a long time ago. He sad “Son, never act like the smartest guy in the room.” ;)

    Thanks BigO for this Black Crowes thing, and I wouldn’t necessarily call them “retro”. These guys have been around for a long time and are a natural progression of their infuencers, imo.

    I seem to remember a disc of all Humble Pie covers. Is this real or am I mistaken?

    By Tom L. on Aug 15, 2014

  11. Totonka was an “inside” CD label who released boots very close to home. The Los Angeles area based label who had access to or (some have been rumoured to have “seeded” them by the actual groups) with soundboards or exclusive recordings… Jane’s Addiction was one of their preferred releases. This show is fantastic and fits perfectly into the time when the Black Crowes were heavily bootlegged from radio and TV performances that were often overlapped and quite common in the euro CD releases. This captures a hot night at the club with a great vibe from Chris and the guesting of David Crosby validates how good they were…. Grab it.

    By Woodstock on Aug 15, 2014

  12. wow…

    this is some good shit man…!!!

    thanks big o…

    yes covering the gamut…including the deads deal & their skeletons cd cover is fantastic in its own right…!!!

    By Jerry's Finger on Aug 18, 2014

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