Tag Archives: Chris Robinson Brotherhood

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Gov’t Mule and Chris Robinson Brotherhood Come to SummerStage

May 16th, 2017

Local guitar hero Warren Haynes (vocals and guitar) doesn’t know how to sit still. He’s seemingly always performing, recording, touring or sitting in with someone else. And with a new Gov’t Mule album, the politically charged Revolution Come … Revolution Go, recorded last year on Election Day, due to arrive in just a few weeks, one of the hardest working men in show business is back out on the road with comrades in bluesy Southern-rock jam-band arms Matt Abts (drums and vocals), Danny Louis (keys and vocals) and Jorgen Carlsson (bass). Tomorrow night at SummerStage in Central Park, Gov’t Mule (above, performing “Blind Man in the Dark” at Lockn’) arrive with the like-minded Chris Robinson Brotherhood—the former Black Crowes frontman (vocals and guitar) alongside Neal Casal (guitar and vocals), Adam MacDougall (keys and vocals), Tony Leone (drums) and Jeff Hill (bass). The CRB’s most recent release, Betty’s Self-Rising Southern Blends, Vol. 3 (stream it below), out in March, is filled with live soundboard mixes by famed Grateful Dead audio engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson, terrifically capturing the band live, which just so happens to be the best way to experience Gov’t Mule and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. So don’t miss them live tomorrow night at SummerStage.

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Chris Robinson Brotherhood Take Their Time at the Space at Westbury

November 21st, 2016

Chris Robinson Brotherhood – the Space at Westbury – November 18, 2016

(Photo: Jay Blakesberg)

(Photo: Jay Blakesberg)


I’ve seen the Chris Robinson Brotherhood do their pie-eyed, soulful thing plenty now, and the word I keep going back to is unhurried, which doesn’t mean slow, for this band can cook up a good old rock and roll, blues or country racket when called for. But that does mean you go at their pace: a deliberate, expansive set or two of deeply fleshed out and not-a-little-cosmic Americana that insists you groove in its orbit or that you politely leave the rocket ship. It may not be for everybody, but in every year since the band’s 2011 inception, yielding to what the CRB does has been rewarding for the willing listener.

Robinson and his band of aces—guitarist Neal Casal, keyboardist Adam MacDougall, bassist Jeff Hill and drummer Tony Leone—throw back to a time when rock, blues, country and folk were painted with Day-Glo and didn’t mind a layer of stardust. Their music feels nostalgic but embraceable and honest. Those wistful moments that might sound sad or might sound accepting depend on how a guitar string is plucked, meshed with those more celebratory, up-tempo, let’s-kick-it type of songs. They can be short statements or long statements or really long statements, protracted with jam segments that can veer toward an ambient soundscape or burn with the gnarly guitars of a Tuesday night at the roadhouse.

They’re encyclopedic too, and that reach goes wide and deep. This two-setter at the Space at Westbury on Friday featured songs by Hoyt Axton (“Never Been to Spain”), Jackie Moore (“Precious Precious”), Bob Dylan (“It’s All Over Now Baby Blue”) and New Riders of the Purple Sage (“Last Lonely Eagle”) tucked between CRB originals and songs from Robinson’s previous associations given new life by this band (“I Ain’t Hiding,” came from the Black Crowes while “Tumbleweed in Eden” and “Train Robbers” drew from the brief, turbulent life of Robinson’s 2002-2004 era band, New Earth Mud). None of those felt out of place, but rather they were bent to the groovy CRB m.o. such that a well-trodden tune like “Baby Blue” had a livelier, hootenanny feel than the regretful folk sound it’s most often associated with. Robinson was as ever the band’s centerpiece. He’s still the charismatic hippie-with-an-edge howler he always was leading the Crowes, and with Leone and Hill keeping things humming—and from veering off course—Casal and MacDougall become its painters, working with a significant range of tones and colors both earthy (Casal’s paint-peeler slide guitar) and spacey (MacDougall’s spattering psych-out effects).

Together, the fivesome offered a few hours of vignettes: the mournful then defiant narrator of “Train Robbers,” which began as spooky country before erupting into vocal howls and volcanic guitar, the vicious rock and roll of “I Ain’t Hiding” (“Ain’t your saint, ain’t your enemy/ I’m a long shadow on the highway”), the big dreams and tortured realities of “Forever as the Moon” and “Star or Stone,” plus the drunk-on-life rambling in “Rosalee,” which began and ended the second set as effectively one long sandwich. And if there’s a newer song from the band’s rapidly growing catalog that takes its place among its best and most complete statements, it’s “Narcissus Soaking Wet,” which on this tour has been a second-set showpiece, getting really cosmic and Dead-y, a lengthy tale of myth. It’s a song to get lost in from a band really good at making them. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

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Hard Working Americans Launch Tour Tomorrow at Bowery Ballroom

January 22nd, 2014

Singer-songwriter Todd Snider’s newest project is the folk-hippie supergroup Hard Working Americans, which sees him teamed up with Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools on bass, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s Neal Casal on guitar and vocals, Great American Taxi’s Chad Staehly on keys and Duane Trucks on drums. They came together last year to record an eponymous album of covers (stream it below) by the likes of Randy Newman, Lucinda Williams and Hayes Carll. Schools, who produced it with Snider in Bob Weir’s TRI Studios in Northern California, said to American Songwriter “that the idea was for a sort of dream-team band to basically deconstruct and reconstruct these cover songs in our own image.” Their LP came out yesterday and Hard Working Americans kick off a nine-date tour tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom.

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Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Music Hall – June 29, 2012

July 2nd, 2012


Photos courtesy of Ahron R. Foster | ahronfoster.com

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Union Transfer Opens Tonight in Philadelphia

September 21st, 2011


To quote Neil Young, “Tonight’s the night.” Yes, Union Transfer, named after the original train-depot station that occupied the building, officially opens for business when Clap Your Hands Say Yeah plays the new venue’s very first show. According to Philadelphia Weekly, “Tonight marks two returns from the dead…. We’re talking about the venerable building at 10th and Spring Garden that formerly housed the culinary shit hole known as the Spaghetti Warehouse, but this evening gets its grand reopening as the gorgeous new music venue Union Transfer. And we’re also talking about the reunited Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, which will christen Union Transfer with lots of fresh tunes.”

The Courier Post opines: “It is being touted as a general admission, air-conditioned venue that can accommodate 600 to 1,000 music lovers, depending on the show.” And that some of Union Transfer’s fine attributes are a close-to-Center City location, a state-of-the-art sound system and a wide array of bands, from Odd Future to Chris Robinson to Gillian Welch. But remember, this is just the beginning. Expect lots of great shows week after week. Philadelphia, welcome to The Bowery Presents.

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Two Sets Is Twice the Fun

August 11th, 2011

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Music Hall of Williamsburg – August 10, 2011


Chris Robinson and his Brotherhood decamped from a few of the finer enclaves of California to play a show for some very happy folks in Brooklyn last night. “Glad you all could make it,” said Robinson a couple of songs into the first set. “This is our party.” Then he joked: “We just hitchhiked from Felton, California. We’re gonna take a break and show the photos.” Oddly enough, with his bohemian nature, it wouldn’t have been too surprising if they had.

Instead, the band jammed through a roots-rock revival of a show, drawing on material ranging from new originals to New Earth Mud tunes to well-chosen and masterfully executed covers like Dylan’s “Tough Mama.” For fans, this was a win-win show: The chance to see a great band play two sets in an intimate venue, for the bargain price of $20. It was plainly evident how deep and wandering the guys in the band’s love for creating music runs, and they were having just about as much fun as anyone in the crowd. By show’s end it felt less like a finite Brotherhood than it did a budding fellowship. —JC McIlwaine

Photos courtesy of JC McIlwaine | www.jcmcilwaine.com