Recorded from the bandâ€™s five-night set of NYC shows in 2010, Wiser For The Time is a two-disc set containing 26 songs of Black Crowes classics.
The first disc opens with the RobinsonÂ brothers’ duet, which is the slightly too bright, acoustic guitar-led â€œCursed Diamond.” The album then leads into the slightly more funky â€œSister Luckâ€ from their debut album, where the full band – Steve Gorman (drums), Sven Pipien (bass) and Adam MacDougall (piano) – do their best Stones imitation.Â Thereâ€™s some ill (and I mean that in a great way) country blues rompinâ€™ on this first disc. â€œDowntown Money Wasterâ€ is stompinâ€™ fun, with Rich R. enjoying slide and MacDougall some tickling keys equally. â€œGarden Gate,â€ from 2009â€™s Before the Frostâ€¦Until the Freeze double album, sees Robinson wailing on mandolin. Chris kicks out the harmonica over his brotherâ€™s slide on â€œHotel Illness,â€ which is one of the best here. â€œOh The Rainâ€ and â€œSoul Singingâ€ both see Chris singing his heart out, though the band lightly handles “Soul Singing” really nicely behind him (with added great female vocalists).
The band gets loud, chunky and electric on â€œExit,â€ the thirdÂ song on the second disc and stays plugged-in from that point. Robinson wails on â€œNo Speak No Slaveâ€ and â€œOnly Halfway To Everywhereâ€ equally. Iâ€™m especially fond of the clear cutting single-note feedback lead on â€œTitle Song.â€Â â€œMake Gladâ€ sees MacDougall leading the band with his funky keys and Gormanâ€™s tom work right behind him. This is probably the best tune on the second discÂ for me.Â The pretty â€œWillinâ€™â€ ends the proceedings, again showing off MacDougallâ€™s piano playing.