Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Ear to the Ground: Rich Robinson’s “One Road Hill”

The first single from the Black Crowe’s new solo album was haphazardly written while messing around on his son’s beat-up Baby Taylor.

Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm once joked that egos don’t kill bands—babies do. But in the case of Rich Robinson, it was his 4-year-old son who inadvertently inspired the lead track from his upcoming third solo album, The Ceaseless Sight. “One Road Hill” haphazardly began on a Baby Taylor acoustic that’s seen its fair share of banging around from Robinson’s son—it had two strings missing when the song started taking shape!

Robinson picked up the abused guitar, twisted the four remaining strings to a random open tuning, and strummed out some chords that reminded him of an old Appalachian-style song. More Fleet Foxes than Black Crowes, “One Road Hill” rings out like a timeless mountain string-band ditty—complete with a lap dulcimer, stompy front-porch rhythms, high-lonesome vocal harmonies, and melodic piano.

Anyone familiar with the solo work of brother Chris Robinson knows he tends to dig into Deadhead-friendly jamming. Conversely, “One Road Hill” spotlights Rich’s penchant for crafted arrangements. And the reset of The Ceaseless Sight is robust with catchy melodies and an arching, pastoral feel that has more in common with Neil Young than Jerry Garcia.