Rich Robinson has co-written a catalog of songs and albums with The Black Crowes that have sold more than 40-million copies all over the world. On the heels of his third and best received solo album The Ceaseless Sight in late 2014, Robinson announced the breakup of the Crowes and has since been re-releasing his entire solo catalog and showing the world a side that, while true to his Crowes’ roots, shows him creating without the constraints that being in a band the caliber of the Black Crowes required. Free and on his own, Robinson has been able to explore without fear, discover and nurture his considerable talents as a quite impressive songwriter, guitarist, and singer.
Which takes us to the next milestone — Robinson’s signing in November to Eagle Rock Entertainment. With his next release just around the corner, the label will set the stage by working with Robinson to present, expanded editions of his solo catalog, Far beyond simple reissues, Robinson has reimagined these releases—remixing, resequencing, penning essays and adding previously unreleased music for each album. For hardcore fans and vinyl aficionados, this is reason to celebrate.
Opportunity, they say, is the promise that remains after good things end. “When the Crowes finished, it opened the door for me to focus on what I want to do,” he says. “It was like, ‘I have to do this … next year.’ But now I can focus 100 percent of my time on my own music.”
But there’s much more to come in the next few months — a parade of Robinson’s previous solo albums, reissued on both CD and colored vinyl. Each is essential listening on its own, a snapshot of a young artist at key moments in his emergence as an artist. Heard in sequence, they become more like a film or a novel, charting his evolution over time.
Stepping back to that broader perspective, Robinson concludes that while he’s pushed himself further than ever in his new music, it still fits into the arc that spans all of the music he’s made, on his own and with the Crowes. “I’ve always been happy with every record I’ve ever made,” he reflects. “With the band and on my own, I’ve always made the best records we could at the time. I’ve never looked back and thought, ‘I wish I could have done this differently.’ That’s not how I think. From when I was 19 and we made Shake Your Money Maker to now, I’ve never tried to make the same record twice. We were always pushing and pushing, always forward. We were free, but it’s been great to get away from always thinking, ‘I’m writing for this band. I’m writing for someone else’s voice.’”