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Chris & Rich Robinson | Brothers Of A Feather Live At The Roxy | review | rock | Lollipop

Chris & Rich Robinson

Brothers Of A Feather: Live At The Roxy (Eagle)
by Martin Popoff

As with Velvet Revolver, I can't separate the bad vibes surrounding the Black Crowes from the music successfully enough to enjoy it and extol it as highly as I did during those magical times, ecstasy-filled at the second and third record. There's no middle ground: Chris & Rich Robinson, in my petty mind, toggle left an' right as either America's greatest living bluesmen or fake. And on an acoustic record (well, there's electric guitar, but no rhythm section), with black girls singin' and such, and Chris stylin', I settle, in disgust, in fake. Or at least in arms-crossed grumbles at not being sold. I mean, there's something sweet and naïve when Jeff Keith and Tesla do this, but get these two black clouds on the case, and on a stool, and it's like the second coming of Woody Guthrie and Brian Jones on one worn wooden stage. The crowd's going to clap along, and you know they're going to hoot when Chris holds a long note. Is it welcome and wisdom one ascribes to hearing the great Lowell George's "Roll Um Easy," or does one, again, scrunch up and fold up the arms at the audacity? A bunch of this album sounds fully Southern gospel in fact, but all I can think of is that a faith healer has entered the room and is about to pass around the basket. I dunno, enough ranting: It's all wrapped into a weird zone I've had about the height of music fan maturity supposedly being this vein of critically acclaimed roots music. It's the height of pretense and offensive to fans of... well, the hard stuff, to name one slagged avenue.


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