When Rich and Chris Robinson reunited for a set of stripped-down shows in 2020, it marked the first time the brothers’ shared a stage since un-amicably breaking up The Black Crowes in 2015. Brothers of a Feather (Coda Collection) documents the duo’s performance at The Chapel in San Francisco on March 6, 2020, just prior to the pandemic, and the start of their reunion leading to a 2021 tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of the band’s debut Shake Your Money Maker.
“It’s been a long time coming, to be able to be in a room and play with other people,” says Rich Robinson of the tour. “Music is a language, and when you’re in a band with other people, and you’re creating music everyone is working with ESP. There’s a deeper connection than just verbal language with one another, and everyone that’s on that stage feels it and moves in that direction. To not have that, for the first time in 30 years (during the pandemic), has been really difficult to get that back. Being back kind of repairs your spinal column.”
Highlighting the band’s three decades together, Coda Collection also released rare studio and concert footage, including The Black Crowes Live at Landgraaf in 1990 and 1993 and Amsterdam Sessions.
“It’s nice to have the perspective and vantage point of these last three decades and celebrate this record and where we started,” says Chris Robinson of the film and tour. “For us, this is a really new project even though it’s our first album because we never played this album in its entirety. We were always on to the next thing.”
Finishing their acoustic shows before the pandemic, the brothers returned to writing together in 2020. Writing has always been the glue that brings the brothers together. “It’s what we’ve always done,” says Rich. “That’s incredibly natural. It’s the most natural place for us.”
Chris adds, “Rich inspires me with the music he’s writing, but at a certain level, there’s so much adventure and inspiration with being out in the world and experiencing it that was taken away for a while. We started as writers and then found our way to being musicians and performers. We’ve both written songs on our own. We understand the dynamic and the magic, whether we were brothers or not, of just having someone really special to write with.”
These days, songs don’t always come as easy as they did years ago, says Chris, who finds himself working harder to get the right words together.
“Songs come when they come,” says Chris. “You can’t force it. We’re not jingle writers. They present themselves as a gift when they fall out of the sky because we’re still both involved with our dedication to the muse.”
Though it may be years before a new Black Crowes album comes together, the brothers are relishing in the new band, feel, and their return to Shake Your Money Maker.
“To me, it’s more a flow of life, a lot of feeling the good and bad, but there’s a huge journey there that I always think about,” shares Rich. “It’s just part of the continuation of what we’ve been doing.”