In June, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood will release their sixth studio LP, Servants of the Sun, on the singer’s own label, Silver Arrow Records. On Wednesday, the band previewed the LP by unveiling a new video for the track “Chauffeur’s Daughter.”
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In the song, a loping, gently psychedelic roots-rock tune that spotlights the former Black Crowes frontman’s signature vintage-R&B–influenced vocals, Robinson sings of a companion who’s a source of constant comfort: “When the road gets rocky, she’s my easy ride.”
Directed by renowned rock photographer Jay Blakesberg, whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone among many other publications, the video features footage of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood performing at Terrapin Crossroads, a Marin County club owned by the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh. In between the live footage, we see the singer riding around in the back of a limo driven by his real-life partner, Camille. She chauffeurs him around as he plays guitar in the backseat and goes shopping at a small clothing boutique. Then, echoing the activity described in the lyrics — “We pull over/Just to take a stroll/Down by the riverside” — the two do just that.
“‘Chauffeur’s Daughter’ is an effervescent little love song brought to life in the wilds of Marin country with my partner Camille,” Robinson tells Rolling Stone in a statement. “We cut in live footage of the band performing at Terrapin Crossroads. Our friend Jay Blakesberg directed and captured a perfect little day in our north Cali scene.
“The last couple of records we put songs and pieces of music on there that we were definitely not ever going to play live,” he continues. “For Servants of the Sun, I wanted to compose music that could super-charge the live show. This is also the first record we’ve made in the summertime and the first time I’ve lived in the studio the whole time. That added something too. To wake up right to my guitar, it adds to the focus and the occult powers that we’re summoning when we’re in a creative mode.”
Blakesberg also elaborated on the making of the clip in a statement to RS.
“When Chris and I started talking about doing a new photo shoot for his summer album release and tours, he also mentioned wanting to do some videos,” the director writes. “His manager sent me songs and lyrics and several of the ones they were thinking about for singles immediately jumped out at me. Before I even talked to Chris I knew ‘Chauffeur’s Daughter’ was loosely based on his girlfriend. I have a friend who owns a 1990 Lincoln Stretch Limo, and if I could convince his girlfriend to drive it I figured it would be super cool. I shifted the storyline a little so that she starts out as the Chauffeur, with Chris riding in the back seat, but eventually they become a ‘couple’ and Chris moves to the front seat. I wanted the limo scenes set in a more rural locale as I thought that would be a more interesting backdrop instead of the limo driving in a city, which is why we shot this mostly in ‘Unicorn, CA’ [the Brotherhood’s fictional home, and also the name of their studio]. It’s a simple story arc with several visual references in the video that tie in to the lyrics without being overly literal.”
The video encapsulates the easygoing lifestyle that’s at the heart of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s music. “When I was 21 years old I just wanted to be flying through the air, rock and roll madness and chaos, and the CRB comes along and it’s much different,” Robinson writes. “I feel much more like a gardener than a rock star; we tend this, we nurture this and it comes back in such fulfilling ways.”
Servants of the Sun is out June 14th. In support of the release, the band will play Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right on June 27th.