Chris Robinson Brotherhood: Servants of the Sun Review

Servants of the Sun is the “Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s new studio album that was just released on June 14. It features the usual suspects comprised of the amazing talent of lead guitarist Neal Casal and keyboardist Adam MacDougal, along with the driving rhythm of bassist Jeff Hill and drummer Tony Leone carrying the beat. It’s CRB’s 6th full length studio album over the past 8 years. After CRB concluded an extensive tour of the U.S. and Europe it met in a Stinson Beach, CA studio to record themselves at their performing peak. There are 10 cuts on the album, which were all written by Chris Robinson, except for 3 that were co-written with Neal Casal.

Servants of the Sun opens with “Some Earthly Delights” with Casal’s “sky climbing” clean crisp guitar licks lighting up the way for Robinson’s “rock and roll guru” persona to begin singing, “Flushes playing in the cocktails, yarrows growing green.” The overall sound of the album conjures up aural visions of a perfect “Grateful Dead” performance. “Let It Fall” is a perfect example of that funky rhythm with Hill’s thumping bass teamed up with Leone’s driving drums. “Rare Birds” is a humorous mix about a love affair using interplay with MacDougal’s calliope sounding keyboards and Casal’s quivering guitar licks interspersed with CR singing “One thing I know for certain is you got to be free.” “Venus In Chrome” opens with and is continually punctuated by MacDougal’s keyboards with CR’s pagan lyrics. Casal’s soaring guitar and MacDougal’s ethereal organ combine with Hill and Leone’s loping beat as they weave a story together with Robinson singing, “From Boston to Barcelona, to Bakersfield and back,” on “The Stars Fell on California.”

Casal’s screaming guitar dominates “Comin’ Round the Mountain,” with the band singing the refrain in chorus together, “comin’ round the mountain where do we go”. “The Chauffeur’s Daughter” is another love song that drives the band into a frenzy as they emulate CR’s lyrics with their instruments, “With her long blonde hair falling in my face.” “Dice Game” is a mellow countryish tune that floats along in a beautiful reflection “passing time with such matters on a six-hour drive to LA.” “Madder Rose Interlude” is just that, a 43 second experiment reminiscent of Frank Zappa’s “Mother’s of Invention.” The final cut on the album is “A Smiling Epitaph,” which has Robinson crooning as the band harmonizes and blend their instruments with Casal leading the charge as MacDougal peppers it with keyboards, until the band explodes in finale.

After reviewing “The Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s” show six months ago this writer’s mind was conjuring up visions of Robinson strutting center stage with his Stratocaster as he interacted with the rest of the band. Servants of the Sun is a funky excursion with sonic exploration that results in a potpourri of sound through the manipulation of language and musical texture. The album is a fast moving mix of free flowing themes and storylines that effortlessly paint psychedelic images on the windows of the mind.

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Venus in Chrome
– The Stars Fell on California
– Comin’ Round the Mountain
– The Chauffeur’s Daughter
– A Smiling Epitaph

The Big Hit

– The Stars Fell on California

Review by Bob Gersztyn

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

Bob Gersztyn

As a teenager in Detroit, Michigan during the early 1960’s Bob Gersztyn saw many Motown and other R&B artists including Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. After his discharge from the army in 1968 he attended school on the GI Bill and spent the next 3 years attending concerts and festivals weekly. It was the seminal period in Detroit rock & roll that Bob witnessed spawning the MC5 and Stooges along with shows featuring everyone from Jimi Hendrix and the “Doors” to B. B. King and John Lee Hooker. In 1971 He moved to Los Angeles, California to finish his schooling where he became an inner city pastor promoting and hosting gospel concerts. He moved to Oregon in 1982 and began photographing and reviewing concerts for music publications. Since that time he has published myriads of photographs, articles, interviews, and contributed to 2 encyclopedias and published 6 books on everything from music to the military. His rock & roll photo art is available for sale on Etsy @: Bob may be contacted personally at

One thought on “Chris Robinson Brotherhood: Servants of the Sun Review

  • June 28, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Just more Hippie Dippy garbage. What a terrible BIG HIT!


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