"I always said I hated the Black Crowes," says Mike, sipping a Diet Coke. "Then one day someone put on a Black Crowes album and I was like, 'Who is this?' There were four or five songs I liked — I mean, really liked." I agree with Mike, staring at his vinyl copy of Amorica, complete with original, uncensored artwork. If you can get past the cover of Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle" — all those memories of a time when the Spin Doctors shared bandwidth with Nirvana — and set aside the shameful white-boy blues tag and the fabricated neo-hippie bullshit, the Crowes actually wrote some good tunes. I think of the Crowes listening to Eric Lindell's "Bodega," from his new record, Between Motion and Rest. It's got the same easygoing sensibility and charm. The rest of the disc from the New Orleans-via-San Mateo, California, singer/songwriter splits the difference between the blue-eyed soul of "It's Hard to Believe," the bluesy "Lucky Lucky," and the NOLA groove of "Matrimony." It never sounds forced, suggesting Lindell may have a few LPs by Van Morrison, Dr. John, Ben Harper, and, yeah, the Crowes laying around his place, though Lindell doesn't have any iconic album covers to his name, just yet.
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