In 2011, after more than 20 years of intense gigging and recording, Chris Robinson set off to shape something new, a fresh rock mythology, a breathing kaleidoscopic thing stuffed with chooglin' soul, bedrock boogie and shuffling wisdom birthed in intimate clubs and amongst the tall trees of the Golden State and eventually taken nationwide as the Chris Robinson Brotherhood evolved.
What began as an experiment without expectations turned into a 118-show journey for Robinson, Neal Casal, Adam MacDougall, George Sluppick, and Mark Dutton that surprised these seasoned pros as music of unshakeable solidity and exuberant reach poured out of them, a New Cosmic California sound with tendrils reaching to the original Fillmore West, Topanga Canyon and outwards towards far horizons.
In June 2012, following the 118-show journey, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood released their debut album Big Moon Ritual. It is a "roots-o-licious collection of tunes with beautiful guitar tones, inventive in parts, gorgeous solos, and killer vocals all around," praised Guitar Player (June 2012), while Relix similarly raved by describing the album as "a full immersion into Southern psychedelics, nine-minute song swoops, extended grooves and wailing vocals" (June 2012). The fruits of the band's hard-charging January 2012 recording session with producer Thom Monahan are heard not only on Big Moon Ritual but in its companion album The Magic Door also.
Each album spotlights seven tunes, with The Magic Door containing six originals plus a cover of Hank Ballard's "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go", a CRB set list staple.
"Thom had encouraged us to remain true to the arrangements we had been playing all year on the road. said Robinson, We inevitably had some longer pieces and felt that the performances were strong enough that we didnt want to edit them for any extraneous reasons.
"Chris says he realized within the first two days of recording, that there was enough material for two albums. Certainly nothing new for Robinson, as his other band, the Black Crowes, also have a history of recording more than will fit on the plate." - Dave Swanson, ultimateclassicrock.com
Chris Robinson, Neal Casal, Adam MacDougall, George Sluppick and Mark Dutton create exciting musical sparks throughout The Magic Door. "We really feel these records set the stage for another full year, where we'll see how far we can go with it," says Robinson. "We already feel successful because we have the freedom to do what we want. And it's always cosmic. The times demand it."
180g Vinyl LP
Mastered & Pressed at GZ in the Czech Republic
Chris Robinson - lead vocals, guitar
Neal Casal - guitar, vocals
Adam MacDougall - keys, vocals
George Sluppick - drums
Mark Dutton - bass, vocals
1. Let's Go Let's Go Let's Go
2. Someday Past the Sunset
4. Vibration & Light Suite
5. Little Lizzie Mae
6. Sorrows of a Blue Eyed Liar
7. Wheel Don't Roll