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Nov 27th
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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.

 

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Giving Thanks: The Thought-Form of Solution

We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

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