The Black Crowes have gone on "hiatus," according to a statement issued yesterday afternoon (Jan. 8). The briefly worded release states that lead singer Chris Robinson has begun pursing a solo career,

The Black Crowes have gone on "hiatus," according to a statement issued yesterday afternoon (Jan. 8). The briefly worded release states that lead singer Chris Robinson has begun pursing a solo career, while drummer and founding member Steve Gorman has officially left the band for "personal reasons." No news was available on the other band members, but a future announcement concerning Chris' brother/Crowes guitarist Rich was hinted at. A group representative had no further comment.

On Jan. 1, the Crowes' official Web site reported that the band was "currently taking a vacation." A more detailed post was promised by the end of the month. The group has had long-rumored troubles, evidenced by a high turnover rate. In just six years, the Black Crowes have replaced four members: a lead guitarist and three bassists.

Earlier this year, Rich Robinson told Billboard that "Lions," the group's first album for V2, represented a new beginning for the band, thanks to the production work of Don Was. "Don told us it takes a band 10 years to really find themselves, and he felt like we really found ourselves on this record. I hate to use these types of words, but this is like a new phase for us."

Although "Lions" sold modestly compared to the multi-platinum numbers put up by 1991's "Shake Your Money Maker" and 1992's "The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion," the set spawned the rock airplay hits "Soul Singing" and "Lickin'." It was supported first as part of the North American Tour of Brotherly Love with Oasis, and then by European festival and headlining dates, and more recently, a second swing back through North America. The band's last show was Oct. 31 in Boston.

The Crowes can currently be heard covering the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" on the V2 soundtrack to "I Am Sam," which was released yesterday in North America.