Chris Robinson Brotherhood is back at Belly Up Aspen
If You Go …
What: An Evening with Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Where: Belly Up Aspen
When: Sunday, Feb. 12, 9 p.m.
Tickets: Sold out
More info: www.bellyupaspen.com
Since the Chris Robinson Brotherhood took to the road five years ago for what’s been a nearly nonstop tour of adventuresome shows — often two-set, three-hour affairs — the psychedelic rock band has earned an envelope-pushing reputation that quieted misgivings about it being a vanity side project for Robinson, the former Black Crowes frontman.
His familiar, soulful vocals lead songs driven by the keyboard wizardry of Adam MacDougall and shape-shifting lead guitar of Neal Casal (formerly of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals). Within a year of the band’s formation, it put out two albums of neo-classic rock and long, Dead-style jams while searching for its sound by performing upward of 200 times a year.
The band, touring in support of 2016’s “Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel,” will return to Belly Up Aspen on Sunday for a sold-out show.
The Brotherhood puts on improvisation-heavy shows that blend its songs with covers and jams — a style that’s as much a performance as it is a creative process.
“You have to keep your ears and your mind open to try new things and not get locked into your particular patterns,” Casal told The Aspen Times on one of the Brotherhood’s recent Aspen stops. “You have to be wiling to abandon all that, step out and try something new. This band was founded on those kinds of principles — not to be locked into the same exact thing all the time.”
The band’s far-flung sounds, Casal said, are the result of the kind of onstage experimentation.
“It’s real hours logged, not conceptual ones,” Casal said. “We dragged ourselves across the country many times over in the course of a few years, and we got a good record as a result.”
The band had to prove itself to get out of the shadow of the Black Crowes. And though the Brotherhood does occasionally throw a few Crowes songs into a set, it has pretty quickly differentiated itself.
“The first couple months there was maybe a weeding-out process of some of the Crowes fans that were coming out to see what he was up to and making direct comparisons,” Casal said. “But it wasn’t long before we had our own scene, our own people.”
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