The Chris Robinson Brotherhood keeps its music organic and has dubbed its creative process as farm-to-table.
“We call our band, in tongue-in-cheek, the farm-to-table psychedelic rock band,” frontman Chris Robinson said. “It’s because we’re not on a major label. We don’t have any corporate construct really to answer to except our own definitions of success, and those definitions are more musical, probably, but it does integrate itself on how we run our business. … If we’re going to be sensitive souls out on the prairies and the heartlands of America selling our musical wares, we want people to know ours is 100 percent organic, with no fillers and no corporate meddling. You know that you’re getting this straight from the source.”
Robinson, who is best-known for fronting Atlanta rock band, The Black Crowes, several years ago traded in fame and fortune for his grass-roots, psychedelic, folk-blues project, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.
“I loved the songs I wrote in The Black Crowes, and I sang all those years; it’s just right now our energy and focus is this, so it also means that you don’t make as much money, it also means we all live on the tour bus, it also means for the first four years of this band, we set up our own gear every night,” Robinson said. “I went from the best tour buses and private airplanes and giant gigs to loading up the van with everyone else and building this day to day, gig to gig, and I think that’s ultimately, if you work hard at something that you love, you get back. Since we started this band, every year the gigs get a little bigger, every year more people come, every year more people are excited and every time we make a record, it seems more people are interested so, you know, for us, it’s kind of easy. We just have to tend our garden and make sure, the only thing we’re really responsible for is our musical presentation.”
Now Robinson runs his own show and has the creative freedom to write and release music at will. Since its formation in 2011, the band has released four albums and an EP. The album “Any Way You Love, We Know How You Feel” and the EP “If You Lived Here, You Would Be Home By Now” were released last year, within months of each other. Now the band has new music ready for release this summer. The band challenged itself on this new project by taking a more acoustic approach and trying out new instruments, such as cello. Guitarist Neal Casal took on different folk and acoustic instruments, including banjo. Drummer Tony Leone plays mandolin and marimba, and bassist Jeff Hill plays double bass.
“It keeps moving and growing and changing and, you know, I think it’s just about us,” Robinson said. “We’re just kind of conduits to the energy around us. As songwriters and musicians, we’re just picking up on the vibes that are around, and how that channels through us I think is where the imagery comes from, where the melody comes from and, you know, the base of the energy of what we’re doing.”