Album Reviews

Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Barefoot In the Head

Artist:     Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Album:     Barefoot In the Head

Label:     Silver Arrow Records

Release Date:     07.21.2017

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Barefoot/Head is The Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s third release in two years and shows the group in stellar form. The first cut, “Behold the Seer” kicks into high gear with goodtime funky blues reminiscent of the Grateful Dead, with a focus on psychedelic wisdom. Robinson’s vocals retain all the character and grit of his work with the Black Crowes. “She Shares My Blanket” demonstrates Chris’s expertise with blue eyed soul, while “Hark The Herald Hermit Speaks” resounds with Dylanesque delivery.

Thanks to Adam MacDougall, Barefoot/Head prominently features tasteful piano and keyboard work that often meanders off into the stratosphere. “High Is Not The Top” is a rollicking bluegrass number with solos performed on the melodica (a small keyboard played by blowing air through a mouthpiece). “If You Had A Heart To Break” is beautiful ballad and a standout track. East meets West on “Glow,” thanks to the exquisite instrumentation of sarod master Alam Khan (son of the legendary Ali Akbar Khan). About that track Robinson says, “The recording you hear is our second take, captured live on the floor, and it was just so beautiful. That take is one of the most special things I’ve ever done in the studio.”

As the album title suggests, Barefoot/Head has its feet firmly planted on the ground while daring to venture into the inner realms of the mind. Robinson explains, “The music that we make, the concerts that we play, it’s this world we’ve created for ourselves and our people. We want everybody to understand that you can always be barefoot in your head. There’s always this other place you can go that’s real. Or is it real? That’s your decision to make. What are you going to let be real to you?”

Get Barefoot/Head and find out for yourself. Recommended!

—Michael Cobb

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