News Segment


September 21, 2004

Former Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson has just kicked off a fall North American tour in support of his self-released debut solo album, “Paper.” The outing finds Robinson backed by former Big Sugar leader Gordie Johnson and drummer Joe Travers, who doubles as the audio archivist for the Frank Zappa estate.

“We’re getting into the groove of things,” Robinson told Billboard yesterday (Sept. 20) after a performance at the magazine’s New York office. “I only have one record, but we have about 10 cover tunes we can do. The shows are ranging about two hours every night, sometimes two-and-a-half. We’ll do pretty much everything from ‘Paper,’ but we’re also doing a Crosby Stills & Nash song, a Manassas song and a couple of Dylan songs.”

And while Robinson played Crowes songs when he first began touring solo, the band’s body of work is absent from his repertoire this time around. “I mainly did that because when I first started playing shows, we only had nine or 10 songs,” he admits. “People that are coming are Crowes fans. It’s like, ‘What do you do?’ These are songs I grew up with.”

As for the possibility of a Black Crowes reunion, Robinson remains cautiously optimistic. “I’d love to do it,” he said. “[Crowes vocalist] Chris and I are brothers and I love him. It would definitely be a cool, comfortable thing to do, but I’m proud of [the solo album] and I am glad I got to do it. Still, there’s something familiar about [the Crowes]. I love those songs and the work we did together.”

However, Robinson says rumors that Crowes dates are already being booked and that a boxed set is on the horizon are “not true. It’s pretty funny though. I guess that means there are a lot of people that still care about the Crowes, so that’s a good thing.”

Jonathan Cohen courtesy of Billboard