Before Jack White, before Dan Auerbach and before Jeff Tweedy, there were the brothers Robinson. As the sibling cofounders of The Black Crowes, Chris and Rich were trailblazers in classic-rock revivalism in the era of modern pop. All the way back in the early '90s, just as hair metal was falling out of favor and grunge had yet to conquer the charts, The Crowes created a striking style of rock and roll that was bluesy, rootsy and, most important, unabashedly retro. Indeed, the Robinsons more or less invented the whole "modern hard rock that your Rolling Stones-loving dad also can appreciate" aesthetic that White, Auerbach and Tweedy have mined over the last 15 years. In this sense, just about any current group boasting a strong whiff of nostalgia, be it Alabama Shakes or Howlin' Rain or Rival Sons, owes a great deal to the Robinsons' prescient vision.
In addition to recording with The Black Crowes, Chris and Rich maintain solo careers while also racking up guest appearances and production credits on albums from other artists. Patti Smith, Jenny Lewis and The Jayhawks' Gary Louris are just a few of the names the brothers have worked with in one capacity or another. Though probably not intentional, each brother has in the last month released his latest full-length: Rich just gave us The Ceaseless Sight, while Chris' latest project, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, unleashed Phosphorescent Harvest. Listening to the records back to back offers fans a front row seat to the key differences in each brother's sound. Where The Ceaseless Sight is earnest and earthy, Phosphorescent Harvest is funky and psychedelic. For a quality introduction to the large body of work they have amassed since the'90s, check out our all-encompassing History of the Brothers Robinson playlist.