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Chris Robinson & The Wooden Family - Live 2007-05-20 Big Sur, Henry Miller Library, The Lawn CD2

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Publisher: Unknown
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Quality :Soundboard
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Total duration: 8:30

Chris Robinson & The Wooden Family's performance on The Lawn at the Henry Miller Library, Big Sur, California, on 20 May 2007, two days after appearing at Wavy Gravy's birthday party. The show was a benefit to support an international development organization called the Seva Foundation founded by Wavy along with Ram Dass. The sound is excellent, crystal-clear vocals and guitar which sound as if they are in the same room as the listener - couldn't be better. But the lack of audience response means there isn't much atmosphere. The performance itself was a very good acoustic show by Chris Robinson, Andy Cabic, Jonathon Wilson, and George Reiff (bass). Disc 2 is the one-song encore.

Some excerpts of notes/reviews from various attendees:
"On furlough from the Black Crowes, Robinson smiled warmly behind his sunglasses as he took his Wooden Family and a sunshine fine audience through hypnotic, electrified folk corridors. Robinson hadn't performed without his brother Rich since his Fall 2005 run with Phil Lesh, and the last New Earth Mud shows were July 2004. There's a different hue to his rainbow outside of his usual collaborators, something more burnished and breezy. One senses they're seeing him in his natural habitat. Shedding all rock star trappings, he divines a more direct route to his muse, where a few instruments and earnest voices weave and rise with winged grace.

"The two performances in this Northern California woodland enclave were indeed night and day. Where Saturday evening found a fractious, booze addled wall against this gentle music, Sunday was as sweet and intimate a glimpse of a truly exceptional singer/songwriter as one could want.

"Hello, beautiful day people," grinned an especially hirsute Chris Robinson, fresh from a shopping trip to Caftans R Us. "It's different from the scary and foreboding night time people."

"A pile of brand new Robinson compositions, juicy covers and heartfelt readings of earlier solo material. The trio brought a fresh touch to everything, the instrumentation and mood echoing the great drumless John Mayall bands of the early '70s. He debuted two originals ("Tomorrow Blues," "Clear Blue Skies") that sounded like a hypothetical collaboration between Fred Neil and Doug Sahm, and had a first time go at Gene Clark's "Here Without You" that even with the hubbub gave one chills. Mud faves "Silver Car" and "Someday Past The Sunset" raised a smile, and Robinson reconfirmed his status as a premiere Dylan interpreter with "Nothing Was Delivered" and "He Was A Friend Of Mine."

"The lawn at the wonderfully bohemian Henry Miller Memorial Library filled early with kids and tie-dye weekend warriors. Smiles and a palpable good spirit infused the day before a single note rang out. It's a rare thing to catch an artist like Robinson in a tiny outdoor venue like this but the Library has a long history of support from big names like Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson and Henry Rollins. Mayhap, like us, they're attracted by the faint odor of Miller's grand, poetic earthiness. I raised a glass as Currituck Co. came on, using Miller's favorite toast, "Always merry and bright."

"The Wooden Family, clearly in much better spirits, kicked off with "Cut from the Shadows," a corker first played on last year's Brothers Of Feather tour. The opening verse is classic Robinson poetics:

"Blue star woman
Snow country child
Wind chime whisper
Black cherry smile

"By the time they coasted into "Like a Tumbleweed in Eden" - a spiritual for non-church kids - the whole space resonated with an artful calm conjured by Reiff, Robinson and Wilson, who all continued to be ever so bloody tasty at every turn. "Acoustic instruments and you can hear them and everything", snickered Robinson.

"The parents holding infants teared up and kissed the heads of their youngsters during an emotional take on Dylan's "Forever Young," just one of many emotionally unguarded moments. One felt invited into Robinson's creative mind as the shade crept over the cross-legged fans at his feet and the wind kissed the afternoon sun goodbye. The new tunes were uniformly great, the work of a honky tonk bard comfortable in his skin.

"Robinson also premiered a modern sea shanty called "Star Crossed Lonely Sailor" that'd make a great epilogue to Procol Harum's "A Salty Dog". The standout cover on Sunday was Gene Clark's "Polly". The former Byrd always brings out the most wistful, aching parts of Robinson, which in turns inspires his companions to dig deep. Mud classic "Mother Of Stone" had a knotted Topanga Canyon blues feel befitting Robinson's recent SoCal residence, where he's been recording and producing others including the long awaited solo record from Jayhawks leader Gary Louris.

"The festivities drew to a close with an absolutely perfect "Driving Wheel" that drew heavily from Tom Rush's self-titled 1970 album where Robinson first picked up the David Wiffen tune that's been memorably covered by the Cowboy Junkies and Roger McGuinn. A mixture of insecurity and freedom, "Driving Wheel" sent us on our way with these words ringing in our ears:

"You can't say much in a phone call, babe
You know how it is
I have to tell you one sure thing
Oh, won't you listen to this
I want to tell you that I love you, babe
I want to tell you just how I feel"

Core collection    Track identified    Version validated    Lyrics available    Version details available    Audio excerpt available    Participants list available   
Driving Wheel(Wiffen)
Big Sur, Henry Miller Library
20 May 2007
The Black Crowes
Core collection    Track identified    Version validated    Lyrics available    Version details available    Audio excerpt available    Participants list available   

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Review by: jajoebaOn 25 Aug 2010 at 17:03 CEST

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Filename: cr20070520d2
Originally filled by: Aidanymous
Date of creation: 20 Aug 2008 14:02:24
Last filled by: Aidanymous
Last Revision Date : 20 Aug 2008 18:48:15
Online on : 20 Aug 2008
Type of media: Bootleg CD

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