Just a few months after the June 5 release of their acclaimed debut “Big Moon Ritual” album, the CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD — Chris Robinson (lead vocals, guitar), Neal Casal (guitar, vocals), Adam MacDougall (keys, vocals), George Sluppick (drums) and Mark Dutton (bass, vocals — is set to release the companion album, “The Magic Door”, on September 11 via Silver Arrow/Megaforce. Both albums were recorded in two marathon sessions earlier this year at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles with producer Thom Monahan (VETIVER, DEVENDRA BANHART, PAPERCUTS) after the band wrapped up a 118-show 2011 tour during which the band road-tested all the material.
“I would say very early on in the recording — within the first two days,” says Robinson when asked about the moment he realized two albums would emerge. “Thom had encouraged us to remain true to the arrangements we had been playing all year on the road. We inevitably had some longer pieces and felt that the performances were strong enough that we didn’t want to edit them for any extraneous reasons.”
“The Magic Door” contains seven songs: six originals — “Someday Past The Sunset”, “Vibration Light Suite”, “Appaloosa”, “Little Lizzie Mae”, “Sorrows Of A Blue Eyed Liar” and “Wheel Don’t Roll” — plus a cover of Hank Ballard‘s “Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go”, a CRB setlist staple. The songs (written by Robinson, with Neal Casal on “Wheel Don’t Roll” and Casal and Adam MacDougal on “Sorrows Of A Blue Eyed Liar”) are all free flowing and some lengthy, with “Vibration Light Suite” clocking in at 13:56. This is music that is in no hurry to reach its destination but firmly knows where it is going and the speed at which it is traveling.
On the album as on the road, Robinson continues to grow as a guitarist alongside guitarist Neal Casal. “I look at music as a conversation and Neal‘s a very eloquent speaker on guitar and I’m just trying to keep the conversation interesting.”