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Tim LeFebvre Joins The Black Crowes...let's examine why...

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by JimmyM, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Obviously it's because it's a pretty good payday despite Chris and Rich Robinson dumping everyone else so they can keep most of the money and put the band on salary. And I'll bet dollars to donuts that Rich is getting a little less than Chris just on LSD principle. So now that that part's settled and out of the way...

    But why would a boogie rock band like the Black Crowes want a virtuoso who can hang competently with pretty much anyone on the planet, and have him play simple bluesy rock bass lines all night? We've already established why Tim took the gig...now let's establish why Chris and Rich chose a well known well paid sideman with a heavy jazz background when plenty of cheaper bassists could have easily done the gig and probably pulled it off just as well? Two reasons...

    Credibility with fans who might assume these are just a bunch of slapdash yahoos quickly thrown together so Chris and Rich could hurry up and cash in, and lack of baggage.

    Don't know if you've seen their longtime drummer's interviews. He's been vocal about Chris Robinson wanting the lion's share of the money and calling this reunion "sad" because he's not there. But he's the last original out of a band that's otherwise been a revolving door for players anyway, so what difference is it? So you combat it by getting some top players. How can you argue with Tim on bass? And I heard them live on Howard Stern yesterday, the band killed HARD, and let's face it, the Black Crowes are Chris and Rich and the drummer could be anyone who plays like they like. Steve Gorman was terrific on their stuff and has been since the beginning, but it's not like they're leaving him penniless, and he's just not the reason they exist.

    So you call in players who will do what you want happily and without complaint. And Tim's one of those guys who goes with the flow, brings what skills he thinks the band needs along with a whole lot of brainpower at the ready and the right gear to easily flow into the overall gestalt of the band, can grasp complicated parts in a flash and easy ones even quicker, doesn't get bent out of shape if you don't like something he's doing and suggest something else, is more than happy to play any kind of music no matter whether he gets a feature or not, and doesn't care in the least that he's not the decision maker as long as you pay what you agreed in a timely manner.

    And that's why he's now getting the big sideman bucks. He's great, he loves what he does, doesn't look down on music that's "not his style," finds reasons to accept gigs and not to turn them down other than previous commitments, and has a reputation for being an easygoing hang. And now he will always be able to find quality work till he retires or croaks, and he's set himself up to do whatever projects he wants to do as a leader as well.

    Some small-minded people call that "selling out." Whatever. I call it "being freaking awesome."
  2. matti777

    matti777 Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    The fans care who is playing bass?
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Not overall, but there are some who would care if it's Tim on bass. Just like all the guys in the band...they probably have their own musician fans. That does generate some credibility with the press and fans over a band of green kids who will do it for $100 a show.
    Kitsapbass and pellomoco14 like this.
  4. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Ah, so you're saying they shouldn't have given Neil Peart a ring LOL?

    It all boils down to arrangements in the end....the 1st album was different than the rest, yet many casual fans identify with it (though the hardcore fans not so much).

    HOW an accomplished jazz bassist approaches arrangements is crucial...i was listening to 'Miles Davis - Decoy' last night and its obvious why Daryl Jones got the 'Stones' gig just listening to 'Decoy' and 'Sting - Dream of Blue Turtles'....its knowing what to play although Daryl messes 'too much' with some of Bill Wymans iconic bass lines as well as the ones Keith Richards played on ....ive said this many times, that some jazz bassists 'overplay' in pop gigs....we'll see.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well this tour is about attracting the casual fans back since they're doing the first album all the way through, then a selection of their other best. But Tim is having none of that interpretation nonsense :D He's pretty faithful to the arrangements on the 3 songs I heard.
  6. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Who even actually played bass on the 1st album? I got the impression the producer had quite a bit of say on 'Shake Your Money Maker'...the guitar parts etc.

    To me whats important with any of these 'name bands with egos' its getting along on tour 1st and foremost....Thats a main reason Van Halen groomed Wolf to play bass for the last 3 tours, no issues getting along or partying, doing booze and drugs etc.

    I cannot imagine what touring with the Robinson bros could potentially turn into!
    JimmyM likes this.
  7. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    They had Andy Hess for a spell too. Money changes everything. I dig the Black Crowes, Chris was always kinda of a butt, even making more than his brother but that's nothing new in the music business. I dig Steve Gorman's band Trigger Hippy, I'm sure he's doing alright. I'd go see them with Tim in a heartbeat!
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Johnny Colt till 97. Wasn't the first bassist but did the first few. He did say the producer directed the sessions pretty heavily and wanted him to keep it butt simple and get in and out as quickly as possible, and the second album felt better for him because the sessions were more relaxed.

    Money does change everything.
    lowendrv, 31HZ, Bunk McNulty and 2 others like this.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Just found out about the other guys...the keyboard and drums come from a fairly known Frisco prog band called Once And Future Band, the guitar comes from another sort of known prog band from San Diego called Earthless. Bringing nukes to a fistfight! They all have serious musical pedigrees and notoriety of some sort. And here they are playing bluesy barroom rock and roll like the legendary 30-year house band at the Bucket O'Blood in Inner Outer County, Georgia!

    Kind of makes that "Jazz musicians can't rock" cliche irrelevant, no? As if we didn't have enough evidence of it before them. The only reason any jazz players can't rock is they don't like it and choose not to rock if they can help it. Or play any other kind of music besides jazz. If they wanted to, they could absorb all the stylistic nuances of any kind of music in about a month and take all our high paying rock and pop sideman gigs with bands like the Black Crowes from us. Fortunately, not all of them want to. But a lot do and already have. Many of them lie about it, too, because they don't want to give off that "jazzbo vibe" in their metal and punk bands.

    Don't know why being uneducated became a badge of honor, but I'm telling you good educated jazz players with ears can play any kind of music they choose and they'll make it sound like any music they've played all their lives in short order. I don't know that it's happened very often the other way around.
  10. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    I saw the Black Crowes in 2013. My only time seeing them, I don't know who the bass player was but he was very good, had great tone and good placement in the mix. They also had Jackie Greene on guitar. Jackie was great, the band was great and they did not play the songs like I had heard them on the radio. The stretched the songs out to good effect.

    Coincidentally, they shared the bill with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, who happened to have Tim Lefebvre on bass for that tour. Unfortunately I could not hear Tim at all in the mix. That was very disappointing as I really liked Oteil's playing on their double live "Everybody's Talking" disc that just came out the year before.
    Wisebass and JimmyM like this.
  11. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Not even a little, as long as they get the job done. And Tim will do that in spades.

    Now for the big question: Why does this thread exist when nobody asked the question in the first place?

    Much more likely scenario: "We need a bass player. Who do you want?" "Uh, that guy in the Trucks band back in 2013 was cool." "Tim what's his name?" "Yeah. Good player too. See if he's available."
  12. matti777

    matti777 Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    lol probably closer to how it happened.
  13. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    Most likely they got the best bassist they could with the money they were prepared to offer, no?
  14. 4dog


    Aug 18, 2012
    i got nothin
    design and JimmyM like this.
  15. Much respect to you and your accomplishments in this business, but what’s your point? The Crowes are the Robinson brothers. They’re greedy (you seem to imply)? So what if they are, but have you seen anyone’s contract to base that on? Do you know what they’re shelling out for this team? It’s their band and they can play with anyone they want and call it the Black Crowes (though neither of them could do that without the other). As you stated, bass player (no idea who he is) got the gig of a lifetime. Good for him, lucky bastard! Scored tickets for a June show today. Can’t wait to see the Crowes (Robinsons with whoever).
  16. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Sorry, I know some really happening jazz players who simply don't have the feel to play a number of popular styles - and it's not by choice. ;)
  17. BluesWalker

    BluesWalker Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2008
    I bet his jam band time with Trucks Tedeschi Band was considered as part of the choice. It can only help ticket sales.
    uwrossl, Rezdog, azwhofan and 5 others like this.
  18. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Why would Tim take that gig? Great tunes, fun to rock? People actually do have their opinions about the Crowes touring w/o various former members. I feel that if two brothers who can still kick out the jams want to mend their relationship in the name of playing some music that they wrote, it’s probably their right to do that.
    burk48237, uwrossl and JimmyM like this.
  19. Tim recorded David Bowie’s final album, and toured and recorded with the Tedeschi Trucks band for years, and did some killer work with Gaga. This is hardly his “gig of a lifetime”. Unless you really think Chris Robinson has more stature and talent then David Bowie...
    burk48237, uwrossl, Haroldo and 14 others like this.
  20. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    Are they paying Tim for rehearsals? :roflmao:
    I have the feeling Tim will be fine. He won't run into anything he hasn't seen in a bazillion gigs with Wayne Krantz at 55 Bar or on SNL. :thumbsup:
    HolmeBass, npbassman, basted and 8 others like this.

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