Hearing Aide: Chris Robinson Brotherhood ‘If You Lived Here, You Would Be Home By Now’

It has been a trying year for the music community. Times like these are when we seek comfort. Comfort can often be found in the familiar. There’s nothing more comfortable or familiar than home, and on their new EP If You Lived Here, You Would Be Home By Now, Chris Robinson Brotherhood seeks to get you to that sweet spot as quickly as possible.

Like your upcoming Thanksgiving feast, this compact-yet-sprawling 30 minute companion to their summer release Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel, is immediately familiar and comforting. Warm, well-rounded, deep, earthy, groovy melt-in-your-ears gravy, ladled generously into every crevice.

Robinson has unabashedly ridden the coattails of the Grateful Dead to jamband glory. Whereas others have rehashed the material into the ground, the Brotherhood have found ways to pay tribute to their tradition of American roots rock with new original music. The psychedelia shines through again in these new recordings, though without devolving fully into hippy drippy Tofurkey. There’s plenty of muscle and meat on these bones to bite into.

The familiarity doesn’t end at the Dead. On “Shadow Cosmos,” comfort is found in the fleshed-out country-rock of The Band. “Roan County Banjo,” devoid of actual banjo, finds some nice groovy and funky notes and features an extended organ jam that borrows simultaneously from the recently departed Keith Emerson and Bernie Worrell. “From the North Garden” jumps unexpectedly to Southern Asia with a psychedelic instrumental ramble while closer “Sweet Sweet Lullaby” doesn’t quite let the tryptophan kick in. Rather, it stirs up and invigorates the soul, sending you right back home again. Time to flip the record and have another go.

If You Lived Here, You Would Be Home By Now, released November 4, was recorded during the Stinson Beach sessions that produced the Brotherhood’s previous 2016 release, Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel. As Robinson tells it, “these five songs seemed to want to hang together in their own way and tell their own little story, so they were set aside to present separately.” Their release seems perfect for the season and the band will continue to stretch them out on the road, touring extensively out West throughout the late Fall.

Key Tracks: Shadow Cosmos, Roan County Banjo