Two sets of from-the-gut, no-holds-barred Black Crowes; that’ll be the format for the last tour before the band's scheduled hiatus.

‘Two sets a night, and one acoustic and one electric. You do that, you get a lot of work done,” said Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman, reflecting on the monster-length shows the band has been playing nearly every night of its 2010 tour.


“It’s about two hours and 30 minutes of music, and we don’t feel like we’re stopping just as we have momentum. The acoustic set isn’t really a downer set either, it’s still very up-tempo and the crowds are rocking. We’re a band that plays acoustic stuff well, and to do these formats also gives us a chance to play a lot of songs every night,” Gorman said.


The sprawling, coast-to-coast 2010 runs, collectively dubbed the “Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys Tour,” precedes a planned hiatus for the frayed-edge Americana blues-rockers. Does that mean the end of the Crowes? Not quite, but to hear Gorman tell it, it’ll be a while before we hear from him, the brothers Robinson, Chris and Rich and the rest of the gang as a collective again.


“We’re not having any conversations about when we’ll be back together again,” Gorman said. “We’ll do that if it makes sense, but when, I couldn’t tell you.


“We are going away. We’re thinking about that every night,” Gorman continues. “It’s obvious that our music really means a lot to people, and that in turn means a lot to us. We’ve played these songs so many times, but I think in a normal year, we might not be as tuned in to that every night as we are right now.”


The acoustic portions of the shows have been both disarming and enthralling to audiences, especially those who thought they’d be getting a buttoned-up, folkie-heavy Crowes set – something to have to politely wait out before the electric mayhem to follow, in other words.


But if you’ve heard “Croweology,” the 2010 double album through which the band reinterprets acoustically some of its best-known material, you’ve got a sense of what a strength – and what fun – the format is for the Crowes.


“We did a couple of acoustic shows in New York at the end of 2008. We’d done a lot of acoustic songs before, but not done full shows where it was whole nights of acoustic music. But when we did those two, it was great, and we thought let’s do a whole tour that way,” Gorman recalled.


Coming off of a strong tour in 2009, the band had also been thinking of how to celebrate its 20th anniversary – the 20th of its landmark debut, “Shake Your Money Maker,” anyway – in 2010. That further precipitated talk of how to gracefully put the Crowes on the shelf.


“Everyone was agreeing it was a good time to shut it down, so we didn’t just want to do an acoustic set,” Gorman explained. “It’s the kind of thing where you don’t quite remember who said what, or what conversations started, but we decided on an acoustic show and an electric show, and that we’d make a record, too.”


What’s the reason for the band’s hiatus this time?


“I could give you a laundry list,” Gorman said. “Three of the guys just had babies in the last year, and you know? This is six straight years we’ve been back on the road. When we got back together in 2005, if you had told me we would have been on the road six more years and made three albums, I would have just laughed at you.”


The Crowes that have existed from 2005 onward had their own share of issues. Twice-former guitarist Marc Ford and former keyboardist Eddie Harsch, for example, both exited before the band’s fall 2006 tour, and it took until 2008 for the current lineup, which features the Robinsons, Gorman, bassist Sven Pipien, North Missisippi Allstars slide guitar ace Luther Dickinson and keyboardist Adam McDougall, plus backup singers and guest percussion, to stabilize.


But it’s still a far cry from the internal chaos in the Crowes circa 2001, right before their first hiatus, notes Gorman. Gorman quit the band late that year and didn’t actually rejoin the Crowes until 24 shows into the 2005 reunion tour.


“My main inspiration for coming back in 2005 was I just wanted to sweep up the mess we had left behind,” he said. “We got three more albums out of it, and I’ve felt, and a lot of people have felt, that throughout the tour in 2009 and all of this year, the band has just been clicking. It’s the most consistent and the most cohesive band we’ve had. And, yes, that means it’s time to shut’er down.”


Gorman explains: “There was a time in ’95 when we said let’s go home for a year after this tour, and then we slugged our way through the America tour because we knew it was coming to an end for a while. But we fooled ourselves into thinking we didn’t need a break, and fast forward a year and a half from that, the band is completely disintegrating in every direction. Now, we think better. Everyone’s got some things they’d like to put time and attention to, and when we get into the Black Crowes, it becomes pretty all-consuming. The past two years have been nice, a good run, and we’re going to put a bow on it and call it a day.”


In other words, the band knows it’s going out on top.


“When we wound down in 2001... well, there’s nothing worse than winding down when you’re not at your best,” Gorman said. “Going out there night after night knowing it’s not your best is really rough. I never want to feel that way again.”


During the first hiatus, Gorman drummed briefly for U.K. rockers Stereophonics and did session work. Currently, he has no firm plans, he said, though he does maintain a weekly sports and entertainment podcast and website called Steve Gorman Sports!


“I don’t know yet,” said Gorman, when asked what comes next for him in particular. “There’s always talk about getting together with people and doing projects, but I’m going to get home after the tour and chill for a few weeks. I’m trying to stay very present this year and this tour and get the most I can out of it. I’ll enjoy the holidays, and then have a complete anxiety attack later.”


Boston visit


The Crowes have a long-held fondness for Boston, Gorman says.


“It was one of the first major cities that took to us. We hit Boston right out of the chute in 1990, and the fan base has been there ever since,” he said. “When you’ve played so many shows in one place, you tend to remember when things didn’t go well, but that’s never happened in Boston.”


Two sets of from-the-gut, no-holds-barred Black Crowes; that’ll be the format as the Crowes pull into Boston’s House of Blues Friday and Saturday, along with two nights in Vermont and one apiece in Connecticut and New Hampshire next week. The dates are their last scheduled New England shows.


THE BLACK CROWESAt the House of Blues Boston, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22 and Saturday Oct. 23. Tickets per show $45-$55 at the box office and through LiveNation.com. Doors at 6pm.