Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Feb 13th
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

 

Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster