The guitar-slinging Robinson brother walks the line between Stones-inspired jams and California folk.

Album

Rich Robinson
The Ceaseless Sight
The End Records/Circle Sound

The ’80s took the strut and swagger of ’70s rock and turned it into a soulless parody of itself, trading Les Pauls and velvet for pointy guitars and spandex. The Black Crowes thankfully closed that decade with glorious, ragged rock ’n’ roll that made you want to trash the dump and bring home a waitress. Rich Robinson’s Keith Richards-esque riffs and harmony singing were a driving force behind much of the overall sound of those classic albums. Now 25 years and over 25 million albums sold later, Robinson is releasing his third solo album.

You can’t listen to Rich Robinson’s The Ceaseless Sight and not compare it to The Black Crowes, but you have to let the project be what it is: a Rich Robinson solo project. It’s no surprise that the guitar work sounds like a hybrid of the best of The Faces and The Stones but unexpectedly, some of the songwriting and playing would fit in with Allman Brothers and/or the folky side of John Mayer (“One Road Hill” could have come of Mayer’s Born and Raised). The guitar playing and tone smokes—you can almost hear the weed on these tracks.

Rich has a warm, understated, neo-hippie voice that works well with the songs on this album, but I found myself hoping that “I Know You”and“The Giving Key” will it make on the next Black Crowes album. Although Rich Robinson’s almost folky voice works well with his songs, his brother Chris—who is pound for pound one of the all-time great rock singers—would take the chorus up an octave and rip the roof off the joint.

Must-hear tracks: “I Know You,” “One Road Hill”

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