Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes

Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes

Live at the Greek

TVT

Finally, 30 years after the fact, we get to hear Led Zeppelin music live the way Jimmy Page imagines it. Backed by the world’s ultimate cover band, the Black Crowes, Page is able to lay his lead guitar over the backing of Rich Robinson and Audley Freed, which, at three guitars, is still about four shy of the normal amount of guitars on any given Zeppelin track, but the songs on these two discs have rarely sounded better. By not having to shoulder the entire load himself, Page plays better than he has in years. At the same time, the Crowes, forced to stick in some measure to an accepted song structure, are able to unite toward a common goal, saving the listener from their endless jams of years past. Chris Robinson brings a healthy dose of Steve Marriott to the table, sounding appropriately like a cat with its tail stuck in a door.

What is even better about this set is the song selection. We get live versions of “Ten Years Gone,” “Nobody’s Fault But Mine,” “Sick Again,” songs not normally heard very often. No “Rock and Roll” or thank god, “Stairway.” The opening double punch of “Celebration Day” and “Custard Pie” is incredible – “Celebration,” with its furious wail of guitar, and the shuttering rhythms of “Pie” are stellar, and set the bar pretty damn high. The rest of the set exceeds it. By the end of the second disc, with the band plowing into Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well,” Elmore James’ “Shake Your Money Maker,” or “Mellow Down Easy,” ending it all with a massive “Out on the Tiles”/”Whole Lotta Love” medley, you get the feeling this is the band Page has been wanting since the early days of Zeppelin. He just had to wait for some of them to be born.

TVT Records, 23 East 4th St., Third Floor, New York, NY 10003; http:www.tvtrecords.com

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