When the Black Crowes and the Tedeschi Trucks Band announced that they would embark on a summer jaunt, they could have called the run the “All in the Family” tour.
Black Crowes vocalist Chris Robinson and guitarist Rich Robinson are brothers, and vocalist-guitarist Susan Tedeschi and guitarist Derek Trucks are husband and wife.
“There’s something to that,” Chris Robinson said while calling from Los Angeles. “The dynamic is like anything else with family. You have an intimacy. With singing with my brother, we’re not super proper harmony singers but there is something about the genetics of close harmony singing that really adds depth. That would be the positive end of the spectrum. The negative end of the spectrum is drama and misery. That’s just the way families work.”
That’s especially so in the world of rock. It’s been 17 years since the Kinks, with brothers Ray and Dave Davies, played together. Oasis split in acrimonious fashion in 2009, and brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher are still not on speaking terms. The same goes for Gene Loves Jezebel’s Jay and Michael Aston -- the identical twins can’t stand the sight of one another, according to Jay Aston.
“Brothers in bands aren’t always a good mix,” Jay Aston said. “Some can’t deal with each other and others can.”
The Robinson brothers, who formed the Black Crowes in 1989, have had their ups and downs, but the band never broke up. They perform Tuesday at the Red Hat Amphitheater.
“We’ve always come back,” Chris Robinson said. “It’s been a good run.”
The Black Crowes have sold more than 30 million albums. “Remedy,” “She Talks To Angels” and “Hard to Handle” are just some of the band’s gritty, catchy Southern rock hits.
The band still has a devoted fan base, but in order to play and pack amphitheaters, they’re touring with the guitar-hero band featuring Tedeschi and Trucks.
“Yeah, this was a no-brainer,” Robinson said. “Let’s go out with one of the deepest, funkiest most soulful bands out there. This is the earthiest tour with its head in the most celestial places. I think it’s going to be interesting for people who are more demanding about their concert experience than ‘We just took some pictures on our iPhone and bought a t-shirt’ or whatever.”
The Tedeschi Trucks Band is one of the most solid acts on the circuit. Tedeschi is a dynamic performer with an underrated voice and her husband is a guitar monster.
“Derek doesn’t just want to play with anybody,” Tedeschi said. “But he was really excited about playing with the Black Crowes and with Chris. He really respects and loves them and thinks it’ll be a good mix with the two bands.”
The good vibes between the Robinson brothers could potentially lead to the first batch of fresh Black Crowes material in four years.
“Hopefully we’ll get some new music out,” Robinson said. “Rich and I have discussed it. That would ultimately be the goal. . . . But right now we’re just scratching our heads wondering why everyone’s getting along so well. It’s something you learn as you get older. You take it as it goes. Stay in the moment as opposed to looking ahead or behind.”
Robinson and Tedeschi are also taking it minute by minute in terms of group jams. Neither are sure whether they will perform together during the show.
“We haven’t discussed that yet,” Robinson said. “But I would hope to play with each other. In my mind it would be great for everyone to get up and do the big soul review at the end of the night. I think that would be fantastic.”