Since The Black Crowes finally closed the curtains at the start of 2015, Chris Robinson has continued to embrace his new lease of life with his band of soulful and psychedelic, country and blues-rock travellers in Chris Robinson Brotherhood.
Barefoot In The Head is their fifth album and it again showcases their effortless musical synergy where Robinson and Neal Casal’s guitars intertwine in harmony, the keyboards dance like filigree in the air and the rhythm section channels Muscle Shoals, Woodstock, Liverpool and all groove-centric points in-between. Robinson is still the focal point, his rich and soulful voice as melodically versatile and affecting as ever, bringing the heart and emotional connectivity to the songs.
This album seems preoccupied with the idea of freedom, whether that’s physical, spiritual or psychological. As he’s been quoted, “… no matter where you are in your life that you can always be barefoot in your head”. The cosmic hippie vibe, more pronounced here than in The Black Crowes, is as high as ever but it’s never corny or without musical or lyrical substance. ‘Blue Star Woman’ finds them doffing their collective hat to The Faces, ‘High Is Not The Top’ recalls Neil Young while ‘She Shares My Blanket’ has a celebratory and psychedelic gospel vibe.
Robinson may still be mining a bygone era of rock music but he and his Brotherhood are still breathing fresh air and free-spirited musicality into the art form.