One of the big stories of the day on Monday was the announcement of the Wanee Festival lineup. There were many familiar names on the bill, but one of the acts toward the top of the lineup, As The Crow Flies (ATCF), led to more questions than answers.
Today, JamBase can reveal the project will be fronted by former The Black Crowes and current Chris Robinson Brotherhood frontman Chris Robinson. JamBase reached out to Chris for comment on ATCF and he stated, “Look forward to seeing y’all down at Wanee! We’re gonna have some fun!”
Rich Robinson was asked about Chris’s decision to form by what all indications will be a band playing The Black Crowes songs as part of a Guitar World interview with journalist Alan Paul. An Australian fan phrased the question along the lines of, “My question is about As The Crow Flies, are you threatened by it, are you insulted by it, are you glad you got in first?” Rich’s response included:
It’s a complicated situation. If Chris had just kept his mouth shut all year and just decided to play songs that he and I wrote … I mean that’s his prerogative and that’s cool and he’ll bring himself to those songs. The fact that he ran his mouth all year about how stupid [The Magpie Salute] is and how we’re just a cover band … and then to turn 180 degrees and just be a cover band with a B squad, it’s very hypocritical. But, he has every right to do that and if for whatever reason that he’s doing that, he has every right and I wish him well. At the end of the day, although there’s a glaring hypocrisy to the whole thing, he can do that and I wish him well. I’ve got Marc Ford.
Watch the interview with the portion in question at the 47-minute mark:
Rich was referring to a number of comments Chris made this year taking aim at The Magpie Salute which features The Black Crowes alums and plays plenty of Crowes songs each night. Chris told Howard Stern, “My brother’s in a Black Crowes tribute band” earlier this year and then when asked about The Magpie Salute he told Rolling Stone, “Yeah. I mean, everyone’s gotta feed their families, or whatever. So it is what it is. I wouldn’t have expected any of those people to come up with an idea outside of that anyway. You know what I mean?”
Chris did start to leave the door open to perform The Black Crowes classics outside of The CRB in recent interviews. He also sang a number of tunes he hadn’t sung outside of the Crowes during the few solo acoustic shows he played in June and October. Last week OnMilwaukee published an article in which Chris responded to a question about whether CRB audiences expect The Black Crowes songs with, “Nobody’s been asking for them. I don’t even see any Black Crowes T-shirts in the crowd. But that isn’t to say I’m not proud of the music we made as the Crowes. Those are some very good songs, and the time will come when I want to sing them again. But for now, I just want to follow the path I’m on.”
Apparently, Chris will break from “the path” for at least one night at Wanee. The musicians who will back Robinson at Wanee have not been confirmed. Rich mentioned the “B team,” which may mean the inclusion of The Black Crowes alum who don’t participate in The Magpie Salute.
Several former Crowes members will be in attendance as part of the Wanee lineup. Keyboardist Adam MacDougall is part of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood who will perform together at Wanee. Additionally, one-time The Black Crowes guitarist Luther Dickinson will be on hand at the festival with North Mississippi Allstars. Other rumors point to another former Crowes axeman, Audley Freed, being involved. Stay tuned for more information on Chris Robinson’s As The Crow Flies.
[Thanks to Hitch Rarrigan for the tip]