“First time to mention the other dimensions the highest sphere.” With today being our very own CRB holiday (Betty’s Blends 3), this opening of the Almanac finds us gazing back upon that very year it represents. The early summer winds of May 2015 found the band traversing familiar land, cruising along the west coast and here, making their usual stop in the progressive company of their home away from home, Colorado. They setup shop for a pair of true, glorious get downs in Denver and the resulting Ravens Reels illuminate a band in the finest of road tested form. With this entry we focus on 5/15/2015, the opening night of back to back smoke shows in the Ballroom. I’m here to bear witness and go on the books saying this is one of the top 10 all time greatest CRB shows ever and a Ravens Reel you should already be downloading now. So turn down the lights, have one tight, let the incense burn and let’s take a look back through this majestic evening with the Brotherhood.

The sweet legal Colorado air was full of energy and when the band hit the stage their musical spark instantly lit up Cervantes Masterpiece. Heads were swimming and smiling as the band tore through Good Rockin’ Tonight, sending that special blend of California love out riding high with every musical note. Never a band to intentionally ease into a set, that little sprinkling of special cosmic dust starts to pop and fizzle early under the heat and snare snap of Roan County Banjo. You can seriously feel the sunbeams bouncing as they ride wave after wave of Adams keys to a powerful, celebratory peak. Just two songs in and we are already looking around as if to ask did we really just hear what we think we heard?! Wow! A slight reverb drips from CR’s vocal as we shuffle into the ominous and weird landscape of Badlands. Sometimes the band will combine to send the vibe of this song tumbling off into a totally different direction and on this night we seem to have crash-landed our spaceship between two towering canyons in the red desert dirt. The song grooves and twists as we all hold on in delight, anticipating whatever our advance search party will find just over the next mysterious hilltop. Another radar like wave comes from Adam’s side of the stage as Tony locks in perfectly and off we go into a beautiful About A Stranger. Synth like smoke signals sending up emotion and feeling while driving the song into the stratosphere. I’m A Hog For You comes in hot, strutting and stomping with such swagger that it’s hard to not laugh with joy as they push it through one dance floor stop sign after another. The glittering, psychedelic smoke filled heart of the set arrives in this next 30 minute, three song closing suite. Meanwhile>Tulsa is consistently the basecamp for some of the most beautiful and far out music in CRB history. This incarnation holds everything we know and love about this combo but also those weird, unexpected moments and deviations that excite us most! The doorway opens around the 6 minute mark as our hallucinations begin to hover and the potions begin to take. Neal is ripping diamonds from his fretboard as we march, with offerings in hand, toward that emerald peak ahead in the clouds. CR driving the ascent with his rhythmic rapture as the sounds combine, crash and echo off every wall and ridge. Neal hits a switch and the jam is angrier now, his guitar no longer floating, but cutting through the night. Reaching and pulling a familiar bass line and tone from the chaos until Tulsa does its dusty dance into the light. And what an incredibly powerful version it is. The verse and chorus a simple interlude between massive, sweeping jams. The laid back decent into the set closing madness of Hard To Handle isn’t to be missed and when they count in and sound off, your soul and mind, just like the venue, will surely explode. Folks the CRB is ON tonight. Listen to CR calling down reinforcement from the Gods as they crest peak after peak until finally shutting down and giving us all a breather and time to brace for the coming second set onslaught.


Everyone comes out swinging and by the time Boppin The Blues has recharged and refocused us all we are free-falling headfirst into Tomorrow Blues. Neal delivers a blistering solo that is relentless and uncompromising as it tears us from our troubles, lifting us higher with every bend and pull. Get Out My Life Woman again finds us all shaking our bonus in a gleeful dance filled with celebration and joy as the band slinks into one their show stopping grooves that we wouldn’t mind going on forever. The bounce of Wheel Don’t Roll ties perfectly into the Train Robbers that follows and we are gifted yet another nuanced journey that unfolds into a thunderous and cinematic version. For me it’s one of the highlight of this show due to CR’s unmatched and spot on vocal. But also for how they build the songs vibe like they are constructing some type of musical architecture until it’s sound towers over us, roaring through our head and heart. A truly unstoppable Vibration & Light is born from the experimental spirit of the band and at over 15 minutes it cuts a transformative and unique path along the slender psychedelic thread that runs through everything this band does. Polyrhythmic and propulsive its jam takes us through jagged and angular prog movements at times where the stage seems morphs into one and it’s hard to decipher who’s playing what. We emerge with enough working parts in hand to repair our craft and up we go into one of my favorite all time versions of Beggars Moon. There’s just something about this show that is evident upon the very first listen and as Sunday Sound brings our main two sets to a close that air of momentum still hasn’t slowed a single notch. Tony and Adam acid jazz their way through nearly 10 minutes of intergalactic, chess like moves of musical counterpoint until the song goes supersonic into its rapturous climactic horizon. A show this amazing should of course have an encore for the ages and that’s exactly what we get. Without a doubt my favorite version of Big River leads off this double dip into a pair songs the Grateful Dead made famous in our circles. It’s played with such a swagger and pace that there is no way you’ll be able to listen to it just once. And I can assure you that you’ll be grabbing the closest able body for a delightful dance lost in the groove as CR and Tony’s percussive pairing drives the song deep into ether. The show ends on one of it’s highest notes as Catfish John comes to life with Adam’s delicate intro and that opening high harmony that’s as golden and bright as Jerry would have wanted.

This is a show you absolutely must hear and one I always recommend to people asking for my top 5 or 10. From the setlist to the feeling and ferocity of the musicianship this was one of those nights when the ancient winds met our cosmic coalition resulting in this undeniable magic that the band has become known for at every stop. Most would have trouble following a performance such as this but the second night of this run picked right up where this one left off and could just have easily been the focus of this entry. I hope everyone is enjoying today’s release of Betty’s 3 and don’t forget to spread the word and turn some friends in freedom fiends. The love and spirit this community holds stands tall and is a shining example to everyone of how a group can nurture and build something that is stronger together than it could ever be apart. Freak On Brothers and Sisters!

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

Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Cervantes Masterpiece
Denver, Colorado

There’s A Good Rockin’ Tonight Roan County Banjo
Badlands Here We Come
About A Stranger
I’m A Hog For You
Jump The Turnstile
Tulsa Yesterday
Hard To Handle
Boppin’ The Blues
Tomorrow Blues
Get Out My Life Woman
If Your Wheel Don’t Roll
Train Robbers
Vibration & Light Suite
Beggar’s Moon
Sunday Sound
Big River
Catfish John



Almanac Entries

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