by Robert Bell
THE CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD
9 p.m. Revolution. $17 adv., $20 day of.
Besides possessing one of the greatest voices in rock music, Chris Robinson exudes amiable hippie charm like nobody else. But behind that laid-back exterior lies a restless spirit with a tireless work ethic.
Back in June, the band released "Big Moon Ritual," seven tracks of gorgeous, meandering, Dead-inspired rock and roll. The shortest song clocks in at a shade over 7 minutes, but the record never drags. "I think I'll take my own sweet time," Robinson sings on opener "Tulsa Yesterday." He and the band proceed to do just that. There's soulful funk aplenty, but overall, the CRB has a way more cosmic kinda vibe going on than the Crowes. The echoing, outer space-gurgling midway through "Rosalee" wouldn't sound out of place on a Gong record, and the synthesizer that pops its head up throughout the record sounds like 1971. Not like something recorded in 1971, like the year 1971 itself.
There's a real subdued middle section, with the beautiful "Reflections on a Broken Mirror" and the forlorn "Beware, Oh Take Care." "Big Moon Ritual" is a fantastic album, but it's not exactly party music. If you're looking for a soundtrack to some skinny-dipping at the swimming hole with a couple of cases of beer and a bunch of your best friends, that worn-out cassette copy of "The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion" will do fine just like always. But if you need the perfect companion for getting lost in thought on a long, late-night drive by yourself, definitely pick up "Big Moon Ritual."
This is an 18-and-older show and there is no opening act.
After the jump, check out a live video of the CRB performing "Tulsa Yesterday."