Sound Advice: Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Thursday • 20th Century Theater

click to enlarge Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Chris Robinson Brotherhood

In early 2011, just after The Black Crowes entered their second major hiatus, lead singer Chris Robinson decided to branch out, embarking on a solo endeavor that has become a new powerhouse of modern American Rock & Roll — Chris Robinson Brotherhood, known by devoted fans as CRB.

One of the many bands drawing delicate but palpable influence from the long tendrils of The Grateful Dead, CRB defines itself as “farm-to-table Psychedelic Rock.” With a lilting, at times simply soft sound that mixes Psychedelia and traditional barroom-boogie Rock with the defining Americana soul in Robinson’s voice and lyrics, the band has declared itself proud to keep a classic genre alive in its pure form.

Born in California, the five-man band — Chris Robinson on vocals and guitar, lead guitarist Neal Casal (formerly with Ryan Adams’ Cardinals), keyboardist Adam MacDougall (who played with the Crowes), drummer Tony Leone and Mark Dutton on bass — spent the first year touring all around the Golden State. With thick roots planted in its home state, the band came bursting onto the national scene in 2012 with serious energy, releasing two albums that year — Big Moon Ritual in June and The Magic Door in September — and hitting the road, playing more than 100 shows across the country.

CRB’s latest release, 2014’s Phosphorescent Harvest, continues to refine the extended, exploratory song structure and style emphasized on the band’s first two albums. The record utilizes a more serious focus on intentional, moment-to-moment detail from within the studio, without sacrificing the authenticity or improv-laden aspect of its natural sound.

This evolution of CRB’s studio work follows closely behind the constant development of its live sound, the true strength of the band, which gives its concerts the energy to send the audience home with a pure feeling of replenished soul.

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