Today, our next few pages in the Almanac will take us back to the earliest show we’ve covered so far. Back when the CRB wasn’t even 15 shows into the medicated bliss. April 18th, 2011 finds us back at their old San Francisco proving grounds down on Market St., Cafe Du Nord. Listening to these early 2011 dates is such as joy, a peek behind the curtain of the well greased machine we now know and love. A band woodshedding out of a van up and down the coast developing songs. Building a fan base and solidifying a connection on stage that was evident from the start. A lot of the jams and sections of songs we now get off on were either in their infancy or being born right before our eyes/ears. This show has a lot of that raw magic. Not raw as in rough, because you’ll hear a band that’s fearless and experimental, but taking those turns with a grace usually found in musicians that have been together much longer than the Brotherhood had at this point. Still raw with a power and force that was palpable to all those who witnessed, and it comes across in this recording. Making it one of my favorites of 2011 to revisit. So let’s tune in and peace out with this little freak folk space trip back to those early days on the golden shore.

That airy bass line and those skittering drum fills announce Tulsa Yesterday, as they open with this original that was easy and natural right away. New that borrows plenty from the old. Played here with a little extra blues groove and a nice mellow rootsy jam. Neal’s solos surfing over the rhythm. They glide smoothly into the rolling Tumbleweed In Eden with all the open aired feel of a dusty desert highway, lost between California and Nevada with only our troubadours laments to keep our heartbreak company. Dylan’s Tough Mama is our first cover of the night and even back at the start, they could rip through this one with their own style of churning uplifting country funk. They had the whole place bouncing and moving and surely you’ll find yourself joining the party here. Adam makes his first big appearance as the synth heavy jam starts to come alive. Finding a fluid groove that the guys wrap themselves in and explore. See if you can spot the tease in this jam. CR’s rendition of Beware is full of that organically delivered soul that only he is capable of. Some particularly beautiful guitar passages from Neal reside here and the harmony is just flawless. The San Francisco crowd shows their delight as the band serves up a JGB styled slow-narcotic-lope through They Love Each Other. Another chance for the full band vocal to mix and shine. Tomorrow Blues steps all around the sonic spectrum providing a little blues boogie in the first set. Star Or Stone and its melodic ease gives Adam a chance to play some pastoral organ at times. Neal developing that big solo we have become accustomed to after the pause and harmony break. This one has a nice mystic glow to it, as he comes in early and ascends at a laid back pace, carrying the band along with him. Rosalee closes this fun first set in all its cosmic California cool. The downshift in the second half gets extra slow and soulful from CR. All in all a really mellow set.


We kick off set number two with the pulse and old time rock and roll of Bright Lights Big City, acting as a buffer between our California break and our “Hallucination Nation’s” anthem Sunday Sound. A relatively compact version as this was a song growing into the beast it is now. But I love Adam’s work in this early one as he builds the keys up to a gospel revival feel while the band approaches the last crescendo. The jubilee of jams, as they often still do, really get started in this 13 minute Vibration & Light Suite. Our minds and bodies are tossed into transit between the cafe floor and the pacific horizon surrounding the Bay Area. The psychedelic symphony really in full flight. This weaving workout was a literal example of the band learning to soar together. Listening to one another, trading and tossing leads back and forth. Another nice tease here in the back half of the jam. The beautiful Sorrows Of A Blue Eyed Liar gives the glowing engines a chance to cool a bit before the big finish. A quick driving Someday Past The Sunset leads us to Roll On Jeremiah, a song that always lights up a setlist. Full of flourishes from Adam in that old time barroom boogie vein before slowing to a delicate groove that finally dissolves. Only to gather itself as the band starts up the musical mountain of Ride. This 15 min version starts with a confident Sly and the Family Stone stride before expanding in all directions at once in a beautiful storm of sound. The cauldron really starting to bubble and steam. Each member pushing the jam further, no one wanting to blink or let go first. Leading to the biggest jam of the night, full of riffs and teases spanning the deepest depths of your vinyl collections. What a way to close a set. The fairly small cafe must have been bulging at the seams. They come back and reward the crowd with a two song encore starting with Tony Joe White’s, Never Been To Spain. This has always been one of my favorite of their covers and it’s fun to hear this early one. The cherry on top of this amazing night is a really big expanded Sugaree with all the saunter and looseness of late 70’s Garcia. You can tell how much fun they are having and they don’t want to call it a night, letting the groove roll well passed the 12 minute mark.

As I said in the open, these were the halcyon days of the CRB. Living out of a van, spreading this gospel hand to hand up and down the coast of California before moving out to conquer the rest of the country and eventually Europe. This is a wonderful trip back to those early San Francisco shows that fits nicely into any CRB collection on your shelf or iPod. Grab this at the link and don’t forget to be kind and spread a little extra love today! Freak On brothers and sisters!!

#crb #chrisrobinsonbrotherhood #letthecrbsetyoufree #freaktransmissions#crbismagic #crbeings #spaceisonthephone ✌️️👁🔮🌟🌙🍄🚀💫🌘 ☀️,6255/Chris-Robinson-Brotherhood-mp3-flac-download-4-18-2011-CRB-Ravens-Reels-San-Francisco-CA.html

Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Cafe Du Nord
San Francisco, CA

Tulsa Yesterday
Tumbleweed In Eden
Tough Mama
They Love Each Other
Tomorrow Blues
Star Or Stone
Bright Lights, Big City
Sunday Sound
Vibration & Light Suite
Sorrows Of A Blue Eyed Liar Someday Past The Sunset
Roll Old Jeremiah
Never Been To Spain

Almanac Entries

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