Counting Crows are in a New York studio with producer Gil Norton recording their first album since 2002's "Hard Candy." The as-yet-untitled effort is expected before the end of the year.

Counting Crows are in a New York studio with producer Gil Norton recording their first album since 2002's "Hard Candy." The as-yet-untitled effort is expected before the end of the year.

Recording is going amazingly well," frontman Adam Duritz wrote on his blog earlier this month. "I don't know what else to say about that. It's just going really, really well and I'm really satisfied and happy about that." Following an active 2006 on the road, the group will return to live duty with a May 4 appearance at New Orleans' Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Meanwhile, Duritz last month launched his own label, Tyrannosauras Records. The first signings are Chicago rock act the Blacktop Mourning and rapper Notar, to whose demos he and Crows guitarist David Immergluck recently contributed.

Duritz previously called Notar "one of the best lyricists I've heard in ages."

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