Recording information: Toronto Sound Studios (11/1970-12/1970).
Photographers: Annette Yorke; Kelly Jay.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Rheal Lanthier; Sonnie Bernardi; Josef Chirowski; Roland Greenway; Kelly Jay.
Arrangers: Crowbar ; Kelly Jay.
A piping hot slice of Americana served up by a band of Canadians -- it's a situation that any fan of the Band could appreciate. Jozef Chirowski's speedy honky-tonk piano in "House of Blue Lights" and his boogie-woogie "Murder in the First Degree" give the proceedings an air of saloon wildness, and the off-kilter production on the lead vocals and harmonies throughout the album only adds to the effect. There are some nicely wry moments too, as when the cuckold's tale of "Too True Mama" boasts that "I got a private eye on you, and I got a private eye on the private eye!" For all its loving invocation of American genres, Crowbar also indulges in some unexpected experiments. The gravelly "In the Dancing Hold" is interrupted by a faux-AM broadcast of pleading soul music, while the erstwhile religious content of "Prince of Peace" sits among a swirled montage of urban ambient noise, booming bass drums, and repeated crowd choruses invoking the return of the Prince of Peace. But for sheer devilish frenzy, it's hard to beat "Oh What a Feeling." With its funked-up R&B guitar and whooshing chorus, it is just about a perfect musical evocation of a head rush. ~ Paul Collins