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Seven years after their last studio release, the Black Crowes are back, making new music with a message. By Kevin Raub

There's irony in the title of the new Black Crowes album, Warpaint. The Southern rockers who first scored commercial success with 1990's Shake Your Money Maker and its peppy hit "Hard to Handle" have certainly had their battles. The group went on hiatus after its last studio release, 2001's Lions. And front man Chris Robinson, who says he was convinced Lions would be the last Crowes album, even went off on his own to produce two excellent solo discs (2002's New Earth Mud and 2004's The Magnificent Distance). But now, with Warpaint, the Black Crowes have found peace together again. We asked Robinson to talk about the calm after the storm and to give us a preview of the new music.

The Black Crowes, who had their heyday in the 1990s, experienced quite a rebirth with Lions in 2001. But the band self-imploded shortly thereafter. Was it frustrating for you not to have capitalized on the newfound momentum?