“The cobblestone kids are back again, throwing colors on the wind.” The city of Cleveland usually hosts the CRB for multi-night runs every year, most recently at the Beachland Ballroom. The Fall 2015 tour found them settling into this familiar venue for two consecutive nights on Septembe1920th & 20th. Both evenings were full of amazing highs, twisting fiery space jams, and ballads full of outlaws and lovers of every kind. But it’s night two (9/20/2015) that I’m focusing on for our 35th entry into the Almanac. It’s got a first set, with a very second set vibe and some of my favorite exploratory stretches of the tour. You’ll want both shows of this run for your collection, but for now, lets dive in and take the trip, dancing along the synapse stairwell into the clouds.

We collectively bound into motion on the slippery slide and honking keys of Boppin’ The Blues. These rock n roll masterclass openers are always a proper introduction to newcomers and a fine nice to see you again for the deacons of our dance congregations across the country. A walking bass line guides us through Tomorrow Blues and it’s spatial musical setting. They really open up and let it groove, foreshadowing the cosmic expansive evening to come. Neal and CR’s guitar work acting as a steady line, organically connecting the first few songs of the set. That “special something” starts to materialize in the third song of the night, Reflections (On A Broken Mirror). Anytime they drop into an early Reflections it can potentially be the spark that turns a set into a roaring deep space fireball. Almost serving as an introductory piece for an operatic odyssey. Tonight that happens, and it all starts to unfold in the variegated sequences that take place in this tremendous Meanwhile In The Gods >Tulsa Yesterday. This is 30 minutes of everything we love but can’t describe about this band to the uninitiated. Meanwhile struts toward its progressive and sprawling second half jam like the coolest of cats leaving a store wearing a brand new pair of shoes. Once the pace slows to a crawl, Adams synth laden attack signals the landing gear is retracting and its time to enter the sub-sonic layers we prepare ourselves for. Neal’s swirling solos begin to pull g-forces on our heads and the jam seems to peak at around the 10 minute mark. But it’s simply a detour as the band is riding high and they explode into the songs second soul shaking jam! It all settles into a spacey psychedelic wind-chime that magically morphs into the opening dusty riff of Tulsa. The acid-drenched Americana anthem quickly sets out in search of soul searing sunsets and new horizontally gazing horizons. Maybe my favorite part of this version is how they dance along the edge of the jam, teasing us for several minutes before finally taking the plunge and we collectively careen into the madness of the closing circuitous rush. Eventually landing back on the rock n roll terra-firma of a lazy, accentuated outro groove. Oak Apple Day chases our blues away before we “arrive and enter, awake and believe” to another set highlight, Star Or Stone. The beautiful harmonies within always have my attention, and tonight they don’t disappoint. But listen to this beautiful guitar passage from Neal following the bridge. It starts in the usually dreamy tone but quickly turns into a furious, edgy climb back into the last verse. The set closes with the double barreled surprise combo of Roll Old Jeremiah > Can You Hear Me. The former tumbles into the call and response classic, giving everyone all the beat they need to dance and boogie into the break.


The 1971, Muscle Shoals recorded blast, Stranger In A Strange land open the second set. The band has long been paying homage to the now late, but forever great, Leon Russell and they tear into this with all the passion and weight of the original. Clear Blue Sky/Good Doctor drifts into its floating, fever dream section as CR pours on his devastating and emotional vocal. The full band combines, setting the perfect mood for those closing lines that tear into my soul every time I hear them. A short but smooth Wheel Don’t Roll lifts us back up and testifies to our hearts, “Let nothing come between you and the love you make”. A haunting and heavy Train Robbers twists and churns through peak-laden landscapes before the triumvirate finish crashes down. A short pause allows everyone to double knot their dancing dogs before they are hit with the planet wave of Dylan’s Tough Mama. They groove through the body of the song before harnessing all of the energy and psychedelic synchronicity they’ve accumulated. Unleashing a 5 minute propulsive jam that is razor sharp and focused. I Ain’t Hiding eventually rides into the mix on top of Tony’s dirty disco funk beat. They drive it hard and deep until woozy waves of ethereal organ and guitars begin to wash over us. We are carried away into the warm velvety halls of Burn Slow and it’s soothing celestial citations. The set ends on one of the nights highest points, a closing Sunday Sound. This is always one of bands main exploratory vehicles, but this version is truly transportational. At nearly 15 minutes it’s given plenty of room to expand and contract with Adam directing us through all of the auditory California traffic. He pours all of his daily concoctions into one vial and the result is a storm of sound and fury that is the CRB at its best. The shows encore is a JGB faithful and Freak-laden rendition of Catfish John. The songs gospel like harmonies are accentuated by each band member stepping out for one last lap with their instrument. A sort of musical bow and goodnight to close two nights of beautiful and mind expanding music along Lake Eire.

I can’t believe this is now our 35th entry into the Ravens Reels Almanac. The love and kindness all of you have shown me has been nothing short of miraculous and I can’t say enough how much it means to me. I want to thank all of you again for not only supporting this project, but for your continued support and passion for this band. As most of you can see, the shows on this 2017 Winter Tour are almost all selling out in advance. The boogie room is a little tighter, and you may see some new faces beside you along with the old. The continued support, by everyone, of the band keeps them out on the road and making this wonderful music we all love so much. Both in the studio and live. So put your arm around someone and say hello. The CRB loves you and we all can spread that feeling wherever we go. I’m so proud of our communities reputation and proud to let that Freak Flag fly. Freak On brothers and sisters!

#crb #chrisrobinsonbrotherhood#letthecrbsetyoufree #blissmerchants #ravensreels#freaktransmissions #crbismagic #crbeings#spaceisonthephone #dancefloorofyourdreams 👁🔮🌟🌙🍄🚀💫🌘


Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Beachland Ballroom
Cleveland, Ohio

Boppin’ The Blues
Tomorrow Blues
Reflections On A Broken Mirror Meanwhile In The Gods
Tulsa Yesterday
Oak Apple Day
Star Or Stone
Roll Old Jeremiah
Can You Hear Me
Stranger In A Strange Land
Clear Blue Sky/Good Doctor
If Your Wheel Don’t Roll
Train Robbers
Tough Mama
I Ain’t Hiding
Burn Slow
Sunday Sound
Catfish John

Almanac Entries

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