By Chad Baalman
The Black Crowes might be off the grid for the time being, but that’s not keeping Rich Robinson on the sidelines.
Robinson, who along with older brother Chris formed the band in Atlanta in the late 1980s, is on the road in support of his latest solo album, Through a Crooked Sun, which was released in October.
To hear Rich Robinson, the Crowes’ guitarist, tell it, the process of putting together Through a Crooked Sun went much smoother than his first foray as a solo artist in 2004 with Paper.
“Making this record, I felt like I was much more at ease,” Robinson told Billboard.com last fall. “The first time was so frantic. It was like the band split up and I was trying to find my place in the world. . .figure out what I do. This time, the energy was great.”
Robinson’s tour will make a stop in St. Louis on March 8 at Old Rock House (1200 South 7th Street). Tickets go on sale at 5 p.m. today (January 6) and cost $15 for the all ages 8 p.m. – doors at 7 – show. Memphis, Tenn. singer and upright bass player Amy Lavere is the supporting act.
Tickets can be purchased at Metrotix.com, Metrotix outlets, Old Rock House or by calling 314-534-1111.
The concert will be part of what is essentially the 2nd United States leg of the tour, which kicked off in October. Later this month Robinson will hit Europe for a 20-show run before returning stateside for 11 more dates starting in March.
The Black Crowes, who carved out a niche in the early 1990s by churning out blues-infused rock during a time when the rock scene was being dominated by alternative acts, are on what has been termed a “hiatus,” their second such break since forming in 1989.
Robinson says venturing out on his own and being front and center has been a refreshing change of pace from his time as guitarist of the Crowes. Despite the Crowes’ success, things haven’t always been peaches and cream for Rich and his brother.
“There’s no baggage with this band or this sort of outlet,” Rich Robinson went on to tell Billboard.com. “It’s much more free. The Crowes are great and what we do and whenever we figure it out and whatever we’re gonna do is really cool. . .But on the flip side there’s a lot of history, a lot of stuff, a lot of family issues wrapped into that — there’s always a good and a bad. With this it’s just easy.”
In recording Through a Crooked Sun, Robinson enlisted the help of Allman Brothers and Gov’t Mule guitarist Warren Haynes as well as Larry Campbell, who previously worked with Bob Dylan and has recently teamed up Levon Helm. Haynes and Campbell both appear on “Bye Bye Baby.”
Backing Robinson for this tour are: Joe Magistro (drums), Jack Daley (bass) and Steve Molitz (keyboards). Daley has been a touring member for Lenny Kravitz’s band.
With no timetable for The Black Crowes to get back together, Robinson is seemingly content with riding the wave he’s on.
“You go in and create,” he added. “It’s a much more optimistic kind of place to be, so I definitely would love to be able to do this, go in and make a record and do a tour, every year or every couple of years.”
For more information on Robinson and Through a Crooked Sun, go to richrobinson.net.
Rich Robinson – “Lost and Found” Live acoustic
Amy Lavere – “Red Banks” Live at KDHX 8/12/11