Chris Robinson became somewhat of a household name as the frontman for the Black Crowes, but the music he’s produced since leaving the band has solidified his place in music history.
His first solo recording after the Black Crowes came in 2002 and was followed by the formation of New Earth Mud, which became a headlining act the following year. The Black Crowes reunited in early 2005, and five years later — in celebration of the band’s 20th anniversary — they released Croweology, which featured new acoustic recordings of favorites. They embarked on a brief tour and in late 2010 announced plans for another hiatus.
Around the same time, Robinson was forming a new band, which would become known as the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. The group is made up of fellow Black Crowe Adam McDougall on keyboards, drummer Tony Leone, bassist Jeff Hill, and lead guitarist Neal Casal.
They emerged on the national stage in 2011 and quickly released two full-length albums within a few months of each other. Big Moon Ritual came out on June 5, 2012, and The Magic Door was released on September 11, 2012. They immediately launched a 118-date tour and haven’t slowed down much since, releasing nine more albums in six years.
Now, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood will bring their self-described psychedelic rock sound to Fort Wayne, when they perform at The Clyde on Tuesday, October 9. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.
“Yes, it’s psychedelic. It’s also rock n’ roll, very danceable. It’s a little folksy and bluesy,” Casal said. “And, of course, we have such strong vocals. Chris is just amazing and our harmonies are good. We also have extended solos that you can get lost in.”
Casal said their audience base has grown dramatically over the years.
“The center of our scene was definitely Grateful Dead-style audiences,” he said. “We get some Black Crowe fans, too. But really, people from all walks of life are getting into us as the years go by and we release more albums. There doesn’t seem to be one particular group following our music, which we love. That’s why we can’t wait to come to Fort Wayne and play for a different audience.”
General admission tickets are $25, but diehard fans have an opportunity to get up close and personal with the band. The $249 VIP package provides an unforgettable experience that includes exclusive onstage viewing from the Magik Carpet during the first three songs of the set. It also includes a preshow meet and greet, personal photograph, specially designed T-shirt, collectible tour poster autographed by band members, and more.
The Meet & Greet package for $149 features early entry into The Clyde, a meet and greet and personal photograph, autographed lyric print, and commemorative items. The VIP Tour Package ($79) includes early entry, a collectable poster, and more.
Casal said the band’s looking forward to visiting Fort Wayne as part of a “nationwide tour that kind of never ends” and they are excited to bring their music to a new place like The Clyde. Their show will include a little bit of everything.
“We’re doing two sets so we’ll play some covers and some of our songs from previous albums,” Casal said. “But we also have some new music that hasn’t even been released yet, so folks will get to hear it for the first time.”
Collaboration is the key to their success, according to the band’s website. Chris Robinson shares an example of how they worked together to bring “Leave My Guitar Alone” to life. He said he’d been sitting on the song for 15 years and it wasn’t until he presented it to the group that he was able to finish it.
“It’s a group effort,” Robinson is quoted as saying. “All it takes is one good, small idea, and then if everyone’s focused and in-the-moment, a few hours later, you can have something that you realize you’ll be playing for as long as you’re making music. I think when everyone’s aware that that’s the sort of magic that we’re looking for, then it happens naturally.”
The stop in Fort Wayne on October 9 is one of 33 shows they added to their October and November tour itinerary. It comes just prior to the planned release of their sixth full-length studio album, which is set to be out next year.