In retrospect, I’m not sure if Chris Robinson is the best throwback to classic rock singers, or the last true classic rock singer. Breaking onto the scene in the early 90’s with The Black Crowes, Chris and his brother guitarist Rich, led the band a tumultuous two decades of women, drug addictions, and good old fashioned American rock n’ roll.
Many may even remember him as a tabloid fixture during his marriage to Hollywood actress Kate Hudson, with whom he had a son (Ryder, named after a Grateful Dead song).
The music was often made palpable by the friction that existed between the brothers, and led to long hiatuses, and a few break-ups, and a few make-ups. During periods off with the band Chris has worked on solo projects, first with backing band New Earth Mud – and now, with The Crowes back on indefinite hiatus, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, which is who he’ll have with him tonight when he performs in town at The Mercury Ballroom.
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood is a blues infused walk back through the world of psychedelic, mind enhancing music of the 60’s. The shows are culled mostly from tracks off of The Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s three albums, cover songs by artists they admire, obscure tracks from Robinson’s previous solo albums, and really deep cuts from The Crowes catalogue; there’s not much in the way of his previous commercial successes on these shows.
Commercial viability aside, Chris Robinson remains one of the most elastic and charismatic frontmen, you are likely to find anywhere. His voice goes on for miles, and he has penchant for finding some of the best sidemen on the planet. He’s the kind of performer that leaves 100% of himself on-stage, 100% of the time, the setlist and material contained therein, is irrelevant compared to the show he will perform. If you’ve never seen him, you don’t wanna miss this opportunity.
Chris Robinson Brotherhood, June 20th @ Mercury Ballroom, 8:30 PM; tickets are $30.