This story originally appeared in the March 20, issue of Rolling Stone. Sitting shoulder to shoulder on high stools, in front of a handful of microphones at Electric Lady Studios in New York, singer Chris and guitarist Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes look nothing like kin and act even less like bandmates. Eleven tracks of brawny Southern rock and psychedelic. And at Electric Lady, whenever they are between songs, the Robinsons are a compelling study in potentially explosive opposites. Chris, 41, is a hippie whirlwind with a pointed Jesus-like beard, lanky dark-brown hair and a ski-pole physique. He is always in some kind of motion — tapping a foot, pacing the floor, lighting a hand-rolled smoke — and he talks at dizzying velocity in a bouncy Southern drawl punctuated by a sharp chuckle whenever he finds something funny, which is often. Next to that verve, Rich, 38, is still water.
Here are some additional excerpts from the interview with Chris Robinson:
Chris Robinson lopes into a small backstage lounge at Terminal West, smiling under a graying beard and eager to talk. This one contained an extra layer of emotion — a homecoming for the Atlanta-birthed band even though Rich lives in Nashville and Chris has resided in California for decades. But it also served as a reintroduction of sorts for the brothers, who only last fall started speaking after a nearly eight-year break. Then he smiled. A breakup in January seemingly terminated the existence of the band formed as Mr. They'll perform the entire "Moneymaker" album, followed by a set of other fan favorites. A lot of bands have come and gone in 30 years, and it makes us feel very proud about the work and craft put into it.
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In that time, Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson has kept their music alive in his spinoff group the Magpie Salute, but his brother Chris has focused on the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, a jam band that plays almost nothing from the Crowes catalog. They have absolutely no plans beyond the final show in Portland, Oregon, when Robinson plays on returning his full attention to the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. We spoke with Chris Robinson about the formation of As the Crow Flies, what fans can expect from the shows, the status of his relationship with Rich Robinson and his thoughts on a possible Black Crowes reunion. Patrick's Day Playlist. Tell me the backstory of this new band. The reality is time and a few small circumstances [led to this].