Bond of Brothers: The Black Crowes Are Back, and Bygones Are Bygones

If there’s one thing the fractious Black Crowes co-founders agree on, it’s that they’ve never fit in.

When the Atlanta-based band, led by the brothers Chris and Rich Robinson, broke through with its neo-classic-rock 1990 debut, “Shake Your Money Maker,” “We weren’t cool,” Chris, 57, the band’s singer, lyricist and mouthpiece, said recently. “We weren’t indie, and we weren’t from Seattle.”

Rich, 54, a decidedly stolid type who composes their music and plays guitar, recalled, “Hair metal was big.”

“Everyone looked like Guns N’ Roses,” Chris added. “To me, walking out in bell bottoms and my Mick-Jagger-in-‘Performance’ vibe, that was punk. No one looked like us.”

“We’ve always been unto ourselves,” Rich concluded.

Thirty-plus years after their five-times platinum debut spawned the soulful rock-radio stalwarts “She Talks to Angels,” “Jealous Again” and their boogie-rock cover of Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle,” the Robinsons have defied expectations — their own as well as their fans’ — by coming together again. Their first album of new songs in 15 years, the back-to-basics “Happiness Bastards,” is due March 15 on the band’s own Silver Arrow label.

For brothers who fought like Battlebots when they were on top of the rock world, and who didn’t even speak to each other during a large swath of the 2010s, this reconciliation has helped heal many of the wounds, personal and professional, left by decades of personality crises, ego clashes, substance abuse, lineup changes, passive-aggressive solo projects (like the caustically named Chris Robinson Brotherhood) and, above it all, Old-Testament-level sibling rivalry.

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