The Black Crowes split amid sibling rivalry

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Black Crowes, who won a wide following by reviving Southern-style rock when musical tastes drifted to the alternative, broke up on Thursday amid a rift between the band's founding brothers.

Guitarist Rich Robinson pointed the finger at his brother, singer Chris Robinson, as he announced the dissolution of the group that has sold more than 35 million albums through bluesy rock songs such as Jealous Again.

"It is with great disappointment and regret that after having the privilege of writing and performing the music of The Black Crowes over the last 24 years, I find myself in the position of saying that the band has broken up," Rich Robinson said in the statement.

"I love my brother and respect his talent but his present demand that I must give up my equal share of the band and that our drummer for 28 years and original partner, Steve Gorman, relinquish 100 per cent of his share, reducing him to a salaried employee, is not something I could agree to," he added.

There was no immediate response from Chris Robinson. The Black Crowes have not released new material since 2009's Before The Frost...Until The Freeze, a double album that was recorded before a live audience that assembled in a studio over five nights.

The band last toured in 2013. The same year, the brothers' father Stan Robinson, who had a minor music career, died in their home state of Georgia.

The Robinson brothers began playing in the 1980s just as the southern state was becoming one spoke of a burgeoning alternative music scene with acts such as R.E.M.

But just as the alternative scene became more mainstream with the success of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, the Black Crowes went instead for a sound that harked back to Led Zeppelin or Southern hard rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Yet the band's style fit in somewhat with the era's alternative ethos, with the Black Crowes sporting long hair and suave jackets and openly extolling the joys of marijuana.

The Black Crowes' 1990 debut, Shake Your Money Maker, produced a series of hard-rocking blues tracks including Jealous Again, Twice As Hard, She Talks To Angels and a cover of Otis Redding's Hard To Handle. The band saw further critical and commercial success with the 1992 sequel, The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion.

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