Chris Robinson Brotherhood Took Bearsville Higher

Tuesday nights in February are not the ideal time to be venturing outside of your house, but if there is good music to be had that will warm you up, get your boots on and get to your closest venue. Luckily for many people though, they were close to Bearsville Theatre for Chris Robinson Brotherhood‘s first area appearance since Mountain Jam. The sold out crowd gave a roar as the band took the stage and ripped right into “There’s a Good Rockin’ Tonight” by Roy Brown, setting the scene for the night showing they were here to rock and jam only as bands should when they come to Woodstock.

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Touring in support of Phosphorescent Harvest The CRB, as they are known by their fanbase, played a few highlights of the album with “Meanwhile in the Gods…” and “Jump the Turnstiles” in the first set. The band was tight throughout the evening, which was great to see as they are breaking in new drummer Tony Leone. Sometimes when bands change members it takes a while to gel as a group, but The CRB was in fine form. Chris Robinson was in vocally great, as he always is, and even showed off some impressive guitar playing from time to time. Neal Casal handled much of the work on the guitar and it was wonderful to listen to his playing all night. He can solo with the best of them, but can also intricately shape songs without taking over the whole sound. “Tulsa Yesterday” closed the first set out with a thrilling jam that was a preview of what the meat of second set was going to be.

After a short break they came back out and hit the ground running with “Try Rock & Roll”. Everyone in Bearsville was tuned in to what the band was giving them and smiles were seen on everyone’s face, including the band between songs. Adam MacDougall seemed to be steering the jamming ship throughout the second set with some great work on the keys. The psychedelia was strong from his side of the stage and only pushed the others to join in. Chris Robinson is of course no stranger to that sound, so it was easy to see why he recruited Adam into the band.  Mark Dutton may have gone unnoticed by many throughout the evening on the bass, but he has mastered being the grounding sound during the intense jams that happened. The biggest jam of the night took place during “Vibration & Light” that bled into “Hard to Handle” with a beautiful transition. The two songs were great, but the middle area where the band got weird and just jammed for a while was the clear highlight of the evening. This was followed by “Rosalee” where they once again went off the rails of the traditional song and let the space around them dictate where the song would go. Coming back with a live debut cover of Van Morrison’s “Call me up in Dreamland” was a fitting end to the evening.

 

Set 1: Good Rockin’ Tonight, Jump the Turnstile, Shore Power, Roane Country Blues, Star or Stone, Meanwhile in the Gods…, Tulsa Yesterday

Set 2: Try Rock & Roll, Beggar’s Moon, Clear Blue Sky & the Good Doctor, Reflections on a Broken Mirror, Vibration & Light>Hard to Handle, Rosalee, Sunday Sound

Encore: Call Me Up in Dreamland

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