Even a cursory listen to the Black Crowes’ 2009 “Before the Frost” and its countrified companion “Until The Freeze” displays a Chris Robinson with a somewhat diminished singing voice. He retains a noticeable stash of Georgia in his performances, what Mick Jagger was angling at fifty years ago. The various incarnations of Robinson’s other road bands, each basically modeled on his best-known group, have steadily moved away from anything resembling concise song-craft, further embracing a stoned seventies vibe, working Grateful Dead covers into live sets. New Earth Mud, Robinson’s first post-Crowes ensemble, issued a few well-received albums, toured to its fan-base, but was supplanted by a brief Crowes reunion, resulting in the aforementioned recordings. For the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, its namesake picks up a few session players and a disenfranchised guitarist from Ryan Adams’ Cardinals. Basically, Robinson again creates a musical atmosphere capable of reigning in his most hippiefied inclinations while still dispensing sturdy hard rock. With a career pushing back to the eighties, the singer’s prodded a pretty simple formula, ably augmenting what’s expected in as many ways as possible. Robinson’s writing explores various relationships, including a more sedate, family-oriented lifestyle. The fact that he can make even those less-intriguing ideas something of an exciting musical experience speaks to his abilities as a songwriter and band leader. Of course, there haven’t been any surprises, maybe ever. So, heading out to see the Brotherhood, which is as creepy a name as the Georgia native could have chosen, should suit anyone who still tosses on those fifteen-year-old albums every once in a while and finds blues progressions and noodled solos to be the highest fare on the summer’s parade of bands heading through town. (Dave Cantor)
July 28 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 North Lincoln, (773)525-2508. 9pm. $25.