Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
1:00 AM 23rd March 2024

Albums: The Black Crowes – Happiness Bastards

The Black Crowes – Happiness Bastards

Bedside Manners; Rats and Clowns; Cross Your Fingers; Wanting and Waiting; Wilted Rose; Dirty Cold Sun; Bleed It Dry; Flesh Wound; Follow the Moon; Kindred Friend


Fans of the rock/blues band The Black Crowes have had to be patient if expecting any new tracks from the group. Happiness Bastards is their first set of new songs since 2009.

The mainstays of The Black Crowes are still brothers Chris and Rich Robinson; the siblings, who have not always been the best of friends, appear to have patched up their differences on this strong return.

The band has taken the title from a novel by American poet Kirby Doyle, which seems to be an apt description of where the brothers find themselves in 2024. The album is raw and refreshing and sees the duo return to their love of rock ‘n’ roll, especially Rats and Clowns, a song that is a tribute to AC/DC, who have had a strong influence on the Black Crowes.

The album includes some surprises, too; the ballad Wilting Rose features country singer Lainey Wilson, something that you might not have expected on an album from the Black Crowes. Elsewhere, Bleed It Dry sees a return to their blues roots, where the track comes with a wailing harmonica, turning the song into a rollocking romp.

As Kindred Friend closes this fine return, which no doubt is an ode to the brother’s rekindled friendship, the end result here is that the Black Crowes are flying high on this high-octane album.