Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Sep 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Sun Also Rises

music_RobinsonWebExclusive: In times of famine and feast Rich Robinson is under the same sun

Rich Robinson’s dad is dying. And his newborn son, Bleu, is a mere three months old. Experiencing grief and happiness simultaneously has become a strange constant in Robinson’s life. At 25, he had everything: as a member of the blues-rock outfit The Black Crowes, Robinson was in a “comfortable state” financially, married to a beautiful wife, and playing shows around the world.

But even at the peak of the Crowes’ popularity in the early- to mid-’90s, something was off. “I was living this life that was askew,” says Robinson, now 42. “My relationships with the people that were supposed to be my closest seemed damaged. My marriage was not a good fit for either of us and we weren’t facing up to that. Though I love my brother [Chris, co-founder of The Black Crowes], the fact that my working environment can be challenging has been well-chronicled. Nothing was working like it should have been, but by many people’s standards, it was a dream come true.”

 

In a Job-like cataclysm, it was all gone: The Crowes went on hiatus—“We just made plans to not make plans for a while,” he explains—Robinson and his wife split, and she took the kids, and now Robinson’s dad on his deathbed.

It was enough to break a man, but, like his growing family, Robinson’s career is seeing a new day dawning. He’s on the road again, and making a stop at Moe’s Alley on Nov. 15 in promotion of his Oct. 11 release Through a Crooked Sun. The album could be viewed as his sophomore effort after Paper (2004)—but only if you don’t know the prolificacy of the Crowes.

For fans of the Crowes’ catalogue, Through a Crooked Sun isn’t a drastic departure—Robinson was the driving force behind the band’s songwriting, along with his brother Chris. But Sun is distinct from the Crowes in ways that even Robinson has difficulty articulating: “I wrote in a fully mindful sense of what is going to work with me and my vocals,” he says. “In doing that, it created something a little different. People that I’ve played the songs for were like, ‘This sounds really different for you,’ which I’m really happy with. It’s a place I’d like to explore more.”

That disparity can partially be attributed to the fact that Robinson is finally, truly independent in his writing. “Chris and I have written all the songs we’ve ever played together, and I always had someone to bounce ideas off of,” he says. “When I made [Sun], I didn’t have that, and it definitely felt weird. It felt like a different thing.”

On vacation from the Crowes, Robinson has evolved as a musician. “The one thing about being in a band is you’re kind of stuck with these same people,” he explains. “You create this language, but on the flip side, you don’t get to expand what you do.” Through exploration, he says, “I really feel much stronger in my voice, and I’m getting a much deeper knowledge of what I can handle and what I can’t.”

While once on shaky legs in his solo career—Robinson refers to his mindspace around Paper as “frantic”—for his second full-length solo album, he’s settled into a more comfortable rhythm. “I really just write,” he says. “I write these songs, and then when I put together a record, we go in and record everything, and the songs seem to dictate what works on a record.”

 


Rich Robinson plays at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. Tickets are $15. For more information, call 479-1854.

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.