Ex–Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson brings the Chris Robinson Brotherhood to the Observatory North Park on December 16. In between the phone signal cutting out in Appalachia, he took some questions.
Where am I reaching you?
“Our bus broke down outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, we’re six hours behind today. But never fear. We have the frontier spirit.”
"Leave My Guitar Alone"
...by Chris Robinson Brotherhood (live)
Your favorite San Diego stories?
“For us, in the Chris Robinson band, San Diego is early days, at the Casbah. The black box, with planes flying over and rattling your skull. One of the first places to show us any love at all. Lines around the block.
“A few years ago, playing Humphreys by the Bay — I’m a massive NBA fan, and Bill Walton was giving me a reprimand about me turning around and respecting Kobe Bryant. Getting a good talking to.”
Were bits of Dylan and the Band in this new stuff, conscious?
“Not really. Dylan’s still the reason hundreds of thousands of us came out — we see him as a spark, as a pinnacle. But it’s the books that you’re reading and the films that you see and the loves gained and lost, it all starts to become who you are. It becomes part of this larger idea, wanting those things to be soulful and dynamic. And representative of you.
“There was a little more melancholy to some of the songs, a little more seriousness. We knew our original bass player wasn’t going to be on the session, so it was just the four of us, sequestered. We had the luxury to do that.”
The publicist said to ask you about recreational substances.
“The publicist said that? I’m too busy to recreational anything! I turn 50 this year.”