The Black Crowes / The Texas Gentlemen @ Choctaw Grand Theater, Durant, OK

Words and photos by Duane Clawson
It’s been said 'without change there is no adventure in life'. Well, these past few weeks have certainly been an adventure! But here I am, now a Texas resident and ready to explore! Being in the proximity of some great venues, I wasted no time reviewing my first show just up the street at Choctaw Casino’s Grand Theater in Durant OK. And did I mention it was the Black fricken Crowes?

As with most shows I cover, I like to arrive early and catch the opening band’s set. Some good, some not so good. Tonight’s opener I’ll put in the above good category, the Texas Gentlemen. This motley crew of hired guns has worked stages and studios with some artists with big last names. Their website bio contains this great quote, “When it comes down to it, we just want to have a good ol ‘time". That my friends should be the basis for any band aspiring to do great things!

So, my original notes on this band said, “Steely Dan meets the Grateful Dead". After diving into their two albums on Spotify I stand corrected, there’s so much more! If you listen closely, you’ll find a plethora of genres and styles. If you’re out and about and see the Gentlemen on the marquis, stop in and give em a listen. Chances are they’re gonna play something you like!

After recently reading a book by a former member of the Black Crowes, I was not sure what to expect while photographing this show. But the one thing I did know, 'I’m photographing rock and roll royalty!' The tales of the Crowes are legendary! Their music is legendary! This moment is legendary! If you know anything about the band, you know the Robinson brothers, Chris and Rich. And it has been rumored they do not get along so well, maybe even a fist fight or two before and after a show. But the second they walk on stage it’s all business, and they do the business of rock and roll very well!

On this tour the Crowes are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their debut album, Shake Your Moneymaker. So, it’s only fitting they would play every cut from the album from front to back. The first thing you’ll notice at a Crowes event, they play loud! Mind you a good loud, not your old Sparkomatic car speakers loud. You’ll also notice these guys are polished. Even the newer members, Brian Griffin on drums, Joel Robinow on keyboards and Isaiah Mitchell on guitar, backup singers Mackenzie Adams and Leslie Grant, play and sing as they were founding members. Rejoining the band is Sven Pipien, who played bass with the band from 1997 through 2015.

They absolutely tear up classics like “Thick and Thin”, “Jealous Again”, and “Seeing Things”. Chris introduces, “Hard to Handle” with a fitting nod to the songwriter, Otis Redding. After their tribute to Moneymaker, there are some lesser-known fillers bookended by no holds barred version of, “Remedy”. Stepping off stage to a standing ovation the Crowes returned shortly after with an unexpected encore, a cover of Bowie’s spacey “Moonage Daydream”.  Well kids, this show was all I expected from the Black Crowes, with a healthy tip included! And the finest welcome to change I have ever received! Thanks to Choctaw Casino for hosting and to the Black Crowes for allowing MTC MAG to be front and center!

Photos of the show are below:

The Texas Gentlemen
The Black Crowes
Contributed by Duane Clawson
The Black Crowes / The Texas Gentlemen @ Choctaw Grand Theater, Durant, OK The Black Crowes / The Texas Gentlemen @ Choctaw Grand Theater, Durant, OK Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on August 29, 2022 Rating: 5
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