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Chris Robinson Keeps the Psychedelic Vibe Alive With the Brotherhood

Chris Robinson
Erika Goldring, Getty Images

As a member of the Black Crowes, Chris Robinson has his sibling Rich at his side laying down some great blues rock licks. But for his latest project, Robinson says he also feels the brotherhood as he and his new bandmates go for a different sort of sound.

Robinson says that his Chris Robinson Brotherhood started out innocently enough, with he and a few friends booking a residency in California just to play some music together. He tells Rolling Stone, “There was no entourage or commute to take care of. It was just the five of us and our friend, our tour manager, in a van. We did 13,500 miles in a van with just us. I think it was a couple of weeks into that [where] we started to let the cosmic vibes flow through us and we realized, ‘Oh wow, this is something that feels really good.’”

He admits that the idea of calling it a “brotherhood” was tongue-in-cheek, but adds that that’s truly how this new project feels. He says everyone has bonded over the feel of the psychedelic movement and enjoys the DIY-handmade vibe to what they’re doing.

Though their tenure has been brief, it’s already had some high points — Robinson recalls having the Grateful Dead‘s Phil Lesh and Bob Weir sit in with them during their San Francisco dates. He counts them, along with Jimmy Page and David Crosby, as inspirations, and says he wants to continue honing his craft and taking from the experiences.

He concludes, “I’m not interested in persona. I’m interested in authentic experience and the essence of that creative place, and where those myths begin and where they become real on any level. Bob Dylan could care less what anyone thinks. I have to see that the greater reward is your body of work as opposed to, ‘Hey we got a Target commercial for our new album promotion.’”

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood makes their recording debut with the New Moon Ritual album, coming June 5. The song “Bright Lights, Big City” is currently streaming at Rolling Stone’s website.

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