“Climb up the vine that goes straight to your mind, get lost in the jungle of your own space and time!” Feeling out these new digs and I have to say I’m so very grateful to have arrived to find that all my friends were here all along! The website is up and we are still adding and working on the CRBase daily. Our kind cosmic cousins at Crowesbase have reached out and offered their love, knowledge and overall friendship, helping make the Almanac the best it can be for our Freak America (and abroad) community. But enough of that, you know how we love, and you sure know how we feel! Our next entry comes from 12/1/2016, and the first show of what turned out to be just an overall outstanding month to end a year of magical CRB happenings. Those three mystic and ceremonial nights at the Fillmore were just a week away and the famous Barry Sless was soon to join the band and spend December burning up the golden shore. Raven had it dialed in and the bands spirits were high and tight as they stepped to the stage in Sandpoint, Idaho on this crisp winters eve. So join me and let’s all follow the wizard and his bag of curiosities through this red door of space and sound.

It’s something we all say often, a setlist can never be trusted. It tells only a very superficial tale and couldn’t possibly take into consideration all the intangibles that coalesce, making a show something we can literally feel in our souls for decades. Still, I’ll be the first to admit it’s hard not to get a little giddy and excited when you see one that looks as fun as this. Around summer tour last year (2016) Leave My Guitar Alone started to appear as a solid show or set opener. Quickly turning into a way for both the band and the gathered to ascend to that higher plain right out of the gates. Never has this been more evident than the version that opens our evening here. From the very first notes it’s clear that the band is playing with a power and confidence that’s going to translate into a night that requires saying goodbye, temporarily, to those we entered with. Letting them know we will see them on the other side of this transcendental Brotherhood trip. Turnstile tiptoes in before shedding its skin and erupting into some serious swing and momentum on the backs of this metronomic rhythm section. The songs comeback pulls you through that glittered streamer laden doorway we’ve been watching in the corner and onto that dance floor of dreams to which it leads. They are warming up nicely now and Wheel Don’t Roll is echoing through every corner and head. It’s message simple in theory, but under the correct type of lens holds some brilliant advice that we could all use a little more of these days. In the distance we can see the smoke and hear a faint warning whistles wain. Suddenly all of CR’s imagery and cinematic sensibility is everywhere we look and Adam is leading the gang as they plot and scheme their way into Train Robbers. The harmony swirls like desert sand in the trains vapor trail, mixing with Neal’s guitar and screaming of reverb and regret. The jam is taking off now and Jeff’s bass is shaking us to our core, providing a foundation while the band continues to soar higher and wider with us firmly in its grasps. A wicked repeating strum breaks the trance and we notice the entire floor is bouncing up and down with Tony’s beat. Lizzie Mae is taking no prisoners as it twists itself into an ever-tangled groove, the ferocity growing exponentially with every musical corner they take. The set is peaking now and we’ve fully surrendered to wherever they choose to take us next. Are we still in Lizzie Mae? The boogie and bliss has reached such a frenzied pitch that we could be anywhere, as long as its right here. Tony’s toms tumble and his snare snaps, signaling that the service has been called and we all stand together, holding our hippie hymnals high. California Hymn rides in on that holy west coast spirit, sandals and surfboards leaning at the door. A lazy groove starts to pick up steam as the song begins to stretch its sun stained legs, stepping and strutting as it testifies to the starry eyed children with hands held high. Please direct your attention to Mr MacDougall as he plays us into what’s been my favorite live version of Sweet Sweet Lullaby. It’s a slow sway that could go on for hours and never get old. Poor Elijah goes through one joyous occasion after another, rising and building until it can hardly hold the raving double time jam that closes the set. Bursting at its auditory seams and spilling stars, moons, arrows and magical caps all over the venue for us to feast upon while both band and congregation collectively breathe in the smoke of this friendly fire now burning on the Idaho western skyline.


The anticipation filled lull of setbreak allows us to begin processing the full spectrum of the 3hour plus auditory ride that’s just reached the halfway point. Music seeking masses huddled in bliss and whispering things like, did you hear that groove Neal and CR got into during that transition, where did those bombs jeff was dropping in Cali Hymn originate, or how that little jazzy sparing session between Tony and Adam was something they’ll never forget. Words swelling with excitement and distraction, knowing any minute the lights will dim and the wave of applause will wash them into a second set built upon the trust and experimentation of the first. The opening riff of New Cannonball tears through the film of every freakers mind as the band sets our controls for deliriums dance into the deepest space boogie imaginable. There’s a point just as the jam starts to build where you can feel the show click, and hear the band bend under the twist and torque of this entire magical thing entering a warp speed wormhole, bound for that elusive great and growing groove. There aren’t many things that give me as much delight as hearing the cosmic churn of Someday Past The Sunset coming to life. From that ominous swampy opening the song bubbles into those atmospheric conditions as the band carefully cultivates the scene. Stitch by stitch the fabric unfolds until an absolutely unstoppable version is roaring through the room, augmented by Neal’s woozy slide which gives it just a little extra touch of eerie, unsettled symptom. Our glance left is captured by Adam busy in his laboratory, twisting knobs and readying his chest of spells and potions. Our wonder drifts to what could be coming now that he appears to be taking the controls. The band looking on with instruments slung, awaiting his signal and ready to fire off into any direction his imagination may lead. Shore Power! The amps are humming and the pedal boards are hot as they blaze through this glowing classic, only half the wheels touching the tracks as the careen gracefully through the songs twists chugs and turns. Shootings stars and unknown planets of every color dot the skyline ahead as we are welcomed into Star Or Stone and its beams of levitating light. Neal opens the pathway to an ethereal and otherworldly temporary existence with maybe his most transportive guitar passage of the night. I’m able to get lost in both the solo and the jam that rises with it like a Phoenix from the full stop harmony break. Stepping through star-fields and space dusted galaxies finally reveals the glorious barefoot boogie landscape we set out for hours ago. The music has delivered us here and with all systems functioning they launch into a closing quasar quickening quad of songs that would possess even the most stoic and stationary among us. Starting this run with the jump and jukebox jive of Ain’t It Hard But Fair should have given us a fun and fair warning to pace ourselves. But lost in the moment, even you will find yourself shaking off any blues or baggage you carry. At home, in your car or wherever this recording finds you in need of a freak infusion of smiles and joy. Tough Mama follows and from the very first notes that touch your ear we are all thinking the same thing, the jam is coming. How deep will it go? How long will we be gone? Will we even return? Do we even care? It’s just after the 5 minute mark when the active ingredients start to take hold. You feel it first as it starts to rise up your spine, radiating out into every muscle and fiber that has let go, drifting in the glow and glee. Spacecraft of every kind are now locked in battle for our boogie souls. Firing lasers and dropping bombs in our chest that reverberate through our every limb. The groove is climbing higher now and has reached that vortex of body and brain. It enters the subconscious and explodes with a tale as old as documented text and set to the furious funk and pulsating power of Narcissus Soaking Wet. We close our eyes and again disappear into the scorching magma core of the show. Somewhere along the way CR pulls his harp and we open our eyes to find our friends have joined us in this cerebral celebration. Narcissus soars higher and higher on the wings of band lost in this night with us. Our lineage deeper than just a ticket and a taker. Everyone feeding off each other until not only is the doorway from which we came no longer there, but we are staring into a pacific sunset as Rosalee explodes like a fireworks display in every corner of our mind. Bringing the second set to a fine and fitting end and providing that poignant pause as we wait for the encore that’s always the perfect cap tailored to the vibe and specific flow of the evening. The Grateful Dead hold a special place in most all of our lives, so anytime we are gifted any Dead related covers is time for collective rejoice. Tonight it’s Mr Charlie in all of its glory and raucous revelry. It’s a psychedelic tinged parachute sent to help us all glide safely back down to earth after one of the years best shows. And, if you’ll allow it, a journey that will open an escape hatch leading far away from any of our earthbound troubles.

As most of you know this our new “page” and our website is up but far from finished as we are adding and improving things on a daily basis. This is here for you, the community, as a tool to dive deeper into this wonderful realm of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. And to support the band in every one of their continued efforts to spread this golden gospel across the world. I just have to continue to say how profoundly powerful and moving this experience within our community has been. There is simply nothing like our Freak Congregation. Nothing. The way everyone reaches out to help each other, sharing information and things that they know others will love and appreciate, with absolutely nothing asked or expected in return. It’s a beautiful glowing light that never dims and I can assure you the band sees and is so proud of this tribe and what it continues to be and the love and joy it perpetuates in everything it touches. This is a special group of people and you all should be commended on your grace and kindness. This is just the beginnings of a long and musical story that the CRB is going to tell. So it’s just so reassuring to see this fan base and grassroots style movement popping up and leading the way from the start. I plan on personally hugging every one of you along the way at some point but until then, we have the music via these live Ravens Reels to connect over and through the songs of the Brotherhood we are always one. Click the link and get this amazing show in your ears and soul today and support this band at the same time! Freak ON Brothers & Sisters!


Chris Robinson Brotherhood
The Hive
Sandpoint, Idaho

Leave My Guitar Alone
Jump The Turnstile
Wheel Don’t Roll
Train Robbers
Little Lizzie Mae
California Hymn
Sweet, Sweet Lullaby
Poor Elijah
New Cannonball Rag
Someday Past The Sunset
Shore Power
Star Or Stone
Ain’t It Hard But Fair
Tough Mama
Narcissus Soaking Wet
Mr. Charlie

#crb #chrisrobinsonbrotherhood #letthecrbsetyoufree #barefootinthehead#blissmerchants #ravensreels #freaktransmissions #crbismagic #crbeings#spaceisonthephone #dancefloorofyourdreams ✌️️👁🔮🌟🌙🍄🚀💫🏹🦉

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