Origin: Berkeley, California
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Counting Crows is a Berkeley, California band formed in 1991 consisting of Adam Duritz (lead vocals, piano), David Bryson (guitar), Charlie Gillingham (keyboards, piano, accordion), Dan Vickrey (lead guitar), David Immerglück (lead guitar, pedal steel, mandolin, bass guitar), Jim Bogios (drums, percussion) and Millard Powers (bass guitar, piano, guitar). The band has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and earned an Academy Award nomination for their song “Accidentally in Love” from the film Shrek 2.
With their angst-filled hybrid of Van Morrison, The Band, and R.E.M., Counting Crows became an overnight sensation upon the release of their debut album: the T-Bone Burnett produced August and Everything After (1993). It featured the hit single “Mr. Jones,” which described the desire of working musicians to make it big and the fantasies that they entertain about what that might entail. MTV picked up on the video for the song drawing massive radio play and launching the band into stardom. With its morose lyrics and Duritz’s expressive vocals “August and Everything After” became the fastest selling album since Nirvana’s “Nevermind.”
Recovering the Satellites followed in 1996 featuring the top ten hit “A Long December.” More hit albums followed including Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings, a concept record divided into two halves: the more rowdy, upbeat rock of Saturday night soundtracks and the mellow alt-country side of Sunday morning hangovers.
In 1999, Counting Crows performed at Woodstock 99 and later that same year released the album This Desert Life. Its sales were propelled by the success of two hit singles: “Hanginaround,” and “Colorblind,” which was also featured in the movie “Cruel Intentions.”
Counting Crows, and Adam Duritz in particular, have become renowned for the energetic, passionate nature of their live performances. Duritz frequently extends and rewrites songs live, adding extra verses or alternate middle sections and/or endings, sometimes fitting most of another of the band’s other songs into the middle of the first. On a live performance on Howard Stern’s radio show, he delivered an altered version of “‘Round Here” that Stern said was one of the best performances in his studio he had ever heard. He often uses other artists’ lyrics in these sections as well, ranging from well-known acts, such as Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison and George Gershwin, to obscure Bay Area bands.
Counting Crows actively encourages the recording of its concerts and the distribution of the resulting recordings and in 2008 launched a website offering band-approved soundboard quality recordings of its concerts.
The Counting Crows continue to appeal to both alternative and rock fans through their unique ability to balance Duritz’s tortured lyrics with the sound of the late 60’s and early 70’s. More than 25 years into their career the Counting Crows continue to feature songs off their seven-times platinum “August and Everything After,” along with many other hits as they continue to draw in new and old fans alike.
Check out the Counting Crows on Sacramento’s K-ZAP 93.3. All part of 50 years of rock, blues and more, 24-7 on our station’s stream at K-ZAP.ORG/LISTEN!
August and Everything After (1993)
Recovering the Satellites (1996)
This Desert Life (1999)
Hard Candy (2002)
Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings (2008)
Underwater Sunshine (2012)
Somewhere Under Wonderland (2014)