When it comes to musicians, reinvention isn’t a new idea, it just gets a little harder as the years go by. And even though there’s no way Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch would put out a country album this or any other year, another man who caught a break in 1989 has undergone a musical makeover and come out on the other side shiny as a new penny.
This man, of course, is Chris Robinson, lead singer for the Black Crowes, who are officially on infinite hiatus; that growling swagger of a rock group that gave us “Hard to Handle” and “Jealous Again.” Robinson was practically the antithesis of grunge in the ’90s. He was Southern, lean, sexy and completely different than Kurt Cobain.
How extraordinary it is to see him now, more than 20 years later with his latest group the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, all relaxed smiles and California sunshine. Like a phoenix rising, Robinson has shed his vintage (and dare I say Rod Stewart-esque) rocker chic strut for a groovy, psychedelic shuffle.
After a solid year of touring, the Brotherhood holed up in California’s Topanga Canyon to record back-to-back albums, Big Moon Ritual and The Magic Door, released in June and September 2012, respectively.
The combined 14 tracks are, according to Robinson, “classic California space boogie.” Translation: a trippy jaunt with Robinson calling “All aboard the groove train!” This is music to listen to on a sunny afternoon while twirling aimlessly around the living room. And for the most part, it feels authentic and exuberant.
Walk through that magic door with Robinson, Adam MacDougall, George Sluppick, Mark “Muddy” Dutton and Neal Casal when they play 9 pm Tuesday, Nov. 27, at WOW Hall; $15 adv., $18 door.