Rich Robinson sets sights on successful solo career

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Rich Robinson sold more than 30 million albums during his 25 years with the Black Crowes, all alongside his brother, Chris. But now he’s making a statement with his third solo album, The Ceaseless Sight.

The collection, released May 30, reached No. 82 on the Billboard 200 album chart, making it his highest-charting solo album.

“It was unexpected, but we were happy about it,” Robinson says. “I think there’s a positivity to it. I think it’s music that is authentic and sincere.

“It’s written with a really authentic and positive intention. Music that comes from that place resonates. People come to it and really like it, or at least get something out of it. That’s what I hope to do every time I make a record.”

The Ceaseless Sight was created simply. Robinson headed to Applehead Recording in Woodstock, New York, with only skeletons of songs.

“I wanted to use the energy of the studio,” he says. “I wanted to use the creative energy that happens when you get in there.

“Most of the time, I write on an acoustic (guitar) by myself or whatever. To be able to go in and flesh everything out and get these sounds, it was really cool. Joe (Magistro, drummer) would do that a lot.”

One thing led to another, one sound sparked another, and the album was born.

“It’s really creative,” Robinson says. “It’s something I really love. Everything’s pliable. You can change this or do that, or this approach might work or that approach is cooler. You get to work it out. It’s a cool place to be.”

Robinson decided that now was the perfect time for the album because he knew “that the Crowes weren’t touring again.” He figured that if he wrote the album in 2013, he could spend an ample amount of time promoting it.

“I could tour and give it what we need,” he says.

Comparing to his first solo effort, 2004’s Paper, Robinson describes it as “musical change.”

Paper was a collection of songs that I had written for the Crowes or another band, and I wanted to have that outlet, but it wasn’t happening in the context they were written,” he says.

“I went in and did it anyway. I said, ‘This is the way I’m going to do it,’ then I did it. It was cool. It was a great learning process. I had been scoring a movie. I was away from the Crowes doing this thing. It was great getting in there and doing that—seeing what I could do, couldn’t do, what works, what wouldn’t work. All of these things are great.”

He took all of those lessons, recorded another solo album, and recently produced The Ceaseless Sight. He’s now taking it on the road, performing at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix on Sunday, July 27.

“We play all three records,” Robinson explains about his live show. “We also play a bunch of stuff off the EPs, covers and those types of things. There’s a lot to good music to come check out.”

Rich Robinson, Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602.265.4842, rhythmroom.com, Sunday, July 27, 8 p.m., $25

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