#albumoftheday / REVIEW: RICH ROBINSON: THE CEASELESS SIGHT

I remember when The Black Crowes debut album Shake Your Money Maker came out in 1990. I was primarily listening to hair bands at the time, like most people. When Shake Your Money Maker came out it was like a breath of fresh air. The only other bands of the era that came close to sounding like traditional rock ‘n’ roll were Tesla and Guns ‘N’ Roses, but they were lumped in with the hair bands and in many ways they sounded like hair bands, too. But you could sense the influence of The Rolling Stones, Faces and The Kinks in Shake Your Money Maker. So much so that some of the songs sounded like they could have been written by those bands I’ve just named. Listening to it was something of a turning point for me, then, as it opened up my eyes to a world of rock music outside of hairbands and I started buying early Aerosmith albums, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, etc. Of course, those bands tended to take their looks seriously, but there was a sense that the music was the number one priority. Same with The Black Crowes. These guys didn’t seem to give a damn what they looked like. They just wanted to rock and to do so in a way that would honor their influences. That would seem to be Rich Robinson’s modus operandi with his new album, The Ceaseless Sight. The difference is that the influences he’s wearing on his sleeve here are slightly different than the influences that have informed most of The Black Crowes work. Here, you hear shades of the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, even a bit of The Eagles. But at this point The Black Crowes have been around for 25 years, which is longer than some of their influences were around for. These days, up and coming artists are surely influenced by The Black Crowes. And so Rich has had plenty of time to create a unique sound of his own while honoring his influences. It only takes one listen of The Ceaseless sight, his third solo album, to realize that. Rich has his own unique vision. If you don’t hear it in the music, then pay attention to the lyrics, which tend to be a bit more serious than your average rock ‘n’ roll fare. Take this line from “Down The Road”: “Down the road you leave behind the world you never knew you didn’t need to find.” It’s just one of the clever lyrics on an album chock full of ’em. And the lyrics aren’t merely clever, they’re soulful, they’re heartfelt, they tell stories. “The Giving Key” is a prime example of this, telling the story of someone whose significant other has passed away . “You got your halo, so let it shine down on me,” Rich sings while background vocalists harmonize gospel-style. It’s a touching number in the vein of The Black Crowes’ classic “She Talks To Angels.”

One of the other things that makes The Ceaseless Sight such a superb album is the guitar tone, which reeks of late nights of drinking whisky straight up, smoking copious amounts of weed and saying fuck you to the police. It’s raw and gritty and ready for war. It slices through your flesh and proceeds to swirl around inside your soul, nourishing it as it goes. It might hurt a little going in, but it’s worth it if you long for rock ‘n’ roll salvation.

PHOTO: ALYSSE GAFJKEN

PHOTO: ALYSSE GAFJKEN

RICH ROBINSON NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:

May 24th – Mill Valley, CA @ Sweetwater SOLD OUT

May 25th – Aptos, CA @ Santa Cruz Blues Festival

May 27th – Los Angeles, CA @ Satellite

May 31st – Woodstock, NY @ Woodstock Session SOLD OUT

June 1st – Woodstock, NY @ Woodstock Session SOLD OUT

June 3rd – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live w/ Jackie Greene Band*

June 4th – New York, NY @ City Winery * SOLD OUT

June 5th – New York, NY @ Webster Hall w/ Jackie Greene Band *

June 6th – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club w/ Jackie Greene Band *

June 8th – Washington, DC @ The Hamilton w/ Jackie Greene Band*

June 10th – Cincinnati, OH @ 20th Century Theater w/ Jackie Greene Band

June 11th – Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley w/ Jackie Greene Band

June 12th – Atlanta, GA @ Vinyl

June 27th – St. Charles, IL @ Arcada Theater

June 28th – Kansas City, MO @ Crossroads w/ Robert Randolph

Jul 1st – Vail, CO @ Bud Light Hot Summer Nights

Jul 2nd – Denver, CO @ Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom

Jul 15th – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge

Jul 16th – Spokane, WA @ Riverside Event Center

Jul 17th – Seattle, WA @ The Tractor

Jul 18th – Jacksonville, OR @ Pritt Pavilion w/ Tedeschi Trucks Band

Jul 20th – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel

Jul 22nd – Salt Lake City, UT @ Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre w/ Tedeschi Trucks Band

Jul 24th – Crystal Bay, NV @ Crystal Bay Club Casino

Jul 25th – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl

Jul 27th – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rhythm Room

Aug 4th – Whitesburg, KY @ Summit City

Aug 6th – Bowling Green, KY @ Warehouse at Mt Victor

Aug 7th – Charlotte, NC @ Visulite

Aug 8th – Durham, NC @ Carolina Theater

Aug 9th – Charleston, SC @ Pour House

Aug 10th – Asheville, NC @ Asheville Music Hall

Aug 12th – Columbus, OH @ Woodlands Park Street Patio

Aug 14th – New Hope, PA @ Havana

Aug 15th – Teaneck, NJ @ Mexicali Live

Aug 16 – Scranton, PA @ Peach Music Fest

Aug 19 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre w/ Jonny Lang

Aug 21 – Fall River, MA @ Narrows Center for the Arts

Aug 23 – Fairfield, CT @ Stage One

Aug 24 – Barstow, MD @ South Maryland Blues Festival

Aug 27 – Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room

Sept 11th – Kitchener, ON Canada @ The Centre in the Square

*VIP TICKET PACKAGES AVAILABLE

EUROPEAN TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED

June 18th – London, England @ The Borderline

June 19th – Nijmegen, NL @ Doornroosje

June 20th – Hengelo, NL @ Metropool

June 21st – Zoetemeer, NL @ Boerderij

June 22nd – Warsaw, Poland @ Progreja Music Zon

MORE DATES COMING SOON! http://www.richrobinson.net/tour-dates/

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Written by

Paris365

An entertainment journalist for 20 years, Michael McCarthy was a columnist and contributing editor for the magazines Lollipop and LiveWire. He co-created and wrote for Cinezine, one of the '90's most popular movie E-zines. The only time he's not listening to music is when he's watching television shows and movies or reading, usually music magazines.

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