Chris Robinson Brotherhood: Big Moon Ritual Review

Big Moon Ritual

With subtle undertones reminiscent of his Black Crowe days, Chris Robinson takes a new turn with his latest project. Comprised of Adam MacDougall (Black Crowes) on keyboard, George Sluppick on drums, Mark Dutton on bass, and Neal Casal on guitar, Chris fronts a solid lineup that dabble in the sounds of yesterday, adding to it a style of their own. Big Moon Ritual, the debut album from the Brotherhood, channels the spirit of the likes of Dwayne Allman and Jerry Garcia. Put together a jam band arrangement and a funky synthesizer and you get a combination all its own. And yet one can relive the sounds that inspired the generations of the Allmans and the Dead through this new material. This project takes on a more soulful and serene sound, as opposed to Chris’ former work with the Black Crowes. Every song is an extended story, a drawn out journey through the progression of instrumentals, with vocal entwined between.

The album opens with “Tulsa Yesterday,” which begins with a psychedelic intro and a mellow, carefree melody. The track is laced with the eloquent works of MacDougall on keyboard. The hit track on this is “Rosalee.” With its upbeat rhythm and catchy chorus, this is sure to please any Crowes fan ready to pass the torch and embrace Robinson’s new endeavor. Although unlike most of his prior material, Robinson’s soulful vocals shine through on each track. “Tomorrow Blues” offers up a chance for each artist to show off his talents, from guitar to keyboard solos to the harmonies in the chorus line. The group seems to flow well with one another, a must for any ‘jam band’ style. They seem to play on never missing a step, as if they’re never quite ready to hit that last note.

Big Moon Ritual is a unique undertaking for the Black Crowes’ front man. Maybe a little unexpected, maybe a little out of the comfort zone for those ‘Hard to Handle’ fans. Whatever the feeling, the band puts together an excellent mixture of sounds. Robinson’s country flare, mixed with a little blues and soul, offers his fans a new taste of his talents. Something to listen to when you’re ready to mellow out and escape the fast pace of reality for a while.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

- Tulsa Yesterday
- Rosalee
- Tomorrow Blues
- One Hundred Days of Rain

The Big Hit

- Rosalee

Review by Don Tice

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