Chris Robinson and his traveling band of brothers blessed The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina with a mid-week revival last Wednesday. Alongside fellow former Black Crowe Adam MacDougall on the keys, founding brother Neal Casal on lead guitar, and Tony Leone on the drum kit, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood has been tirelessly spreading love and light with their spirited California blend of psychedelic blues and soul.
With the Wednesday night congregation still filing in, CRB got folks grooving into the night with “New Cannonball Rag,” the opening track from their new EP If You Lived Here, You Would be Home By Now. There was a hint of “Truckin'” as Robinson and his brothers fluidly worked their way through “Tomorrow Blues” and “Someday Past the Sunset,” before slowing things down a bit with a soulfully sharp cover of Jackie Moore’s “Precious, Precious.” With their dancing shoes dusted off, the boys felt the crowd was ready for the 20-minute treat of “Meanwhile the Gods…” into “Tulsa Yesterday.” Between MacDougall’s animated organ-synth-keys dance, Robinson’s steady rhythm and smile, and Casal’s locked in precision, all was well and in harmony for the Brotherhood and their boogying brothers and sisters. In perfect time, the spirit was passed around and around again while CRB broke out their tour-tested “California Hymn” before closing the first set with “Beggar’s Moon.”
As if anyone had time enough to lose it, the Brotherhood brought the groove right back, stepping smoothly out of the gate with a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Let it Bleed.” As a seemingly natural response, Robinson tapped his inner Stones channel through his declaration tune, “Leave My Guitar Alone.” Ever versatile, the band ventured into “Forever as the Moon,” another road tested favorite from their full length 2016 release album titled Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel. With the Wednesday night crowd showing no signs of letting up, Robinson and the boys touted their Dead influence through a string of bouncy and jammy original tunes, including “Oak Apple Day,” “Shadow Cosmos,” and “Ain’t it Hard But Fair,” before bringing the boogie to a pinnacle with a beautiful “Tough Mama” cover, a Dylan tune that was often covered by Jerry Garcia.
Thriving within their musical space of contentment, Robinson and the Brotherhood closed the night with a crowd-pleasing rendition of their staple, “Narcissus Soaking Wet.” Feeling no further heights to reached for the night, CRB let it down easy, with a soothing “Sweet Sweet Lullabye” as the encore.