Chris Robinson returns to rock Grass Valley once again |

Chris Robinson returns to rock Grass Valley once again

Submitted to Prospector

Returning to Grass Valley for a third time, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood will make a stop along its road trip of California, to bring a psychedelic dance concert to the Center for the Arts stage at 8 p.m. Friday.

Robinson gathered up an eclectic group of musicians that naturally mesh a jam-band mix of Southern blues, R&B, country flavors, classic psychedelic rock and more.

"My thing is bringing in the lost language of rock 'n' roll. I find myself listening to tons of fifties rock music, and the songs are just so great! Still, we maintain our zero-gravity sound even in these tunes, and when we get into it really good, we consider it a classic California space boogie," Robinson said.

Formed in March of 2011 by front man Chris Robinson (Black Crowes), the five-piece band toured intensely for a year, 118 shows before releasing their first record, "Big Moon Ritual," in June. Robinson's soulful voice is accompanied by Neal Casal's deft linear guitar with Adam MacDougall joining on keyboards (Black Crowes), George Sluppick on drums and Mark Dutton on bass.

“It seems like one of those special places … Grass Valley is a fine example of a town lining up with the aesthetics of a band.”
Neal Casal,
lead guitarist

Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Devendra Banhart, Papercuts) produced the first record.

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Heavy touring continued this year, and a second recording, "The Magic Door," was released in September.

"We want to make music that blossoms. We want to make music that sounds cosmic," Robinson said.

Lead guitarist Casal (The Cardinals) remembers the two shows he performed in Grass Valley before as "excellent gigs" where many friends showed up.

"It seems like one of those special places. There's good musical thinking there that we've gravitated to. Grass Valley is a fine example of a town lining up with the aesthetics of a band," Casal said.

Though life on the road can be tough, "pretty insane" and sometimes hectic, rather than feeling exhausted, the band is "energized" by the run, Casal said.

For him, the sacrifices are worth the struggle, as the band works hard for something it believes in — music that can't be manufactured in an enclosed studio and the reward of a growing audience.

"In order to be a "real band you have to go out and play live. There's no other way to do it," Casal said. "We really want to make records that we feel are a real contribution. We're just after it man," Casal said.

Tickets for the show are $30 for members, $35 for nonmembers, and can be purchased at The Center for the Arts or BriarPatch Co-op. For information, go to

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