Rich Robinson

The Ceaseless Sight

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Unlike his brother Chris -- perhaps too easy a comparison but one hard to avoid, as they're not only related by blood but by taste -- Rich Robinson doesn't wander into the mystic when he steps away from the Black Crowes. He remains rooted in the earth, grinding out grittier elements of the Crowes, the rangy riffs and deep grooves that keep them connected to a heritage that stretches back to the Stones and the Allmans. The Ceaseless Sight, his third solo album and also his best, revels in that thick Southern sound, delving into a thick, dirty rhythm on the opening "I Know You" and returning often, finding variations within the slow blues churn of "The Giving Key" and funk of "Inside." Robinson isn't just about loud guitars on The Ceaseless Sight, though. He quickly slides into sun-bleached acoustic folk-rock, easing into "Down the Road" and "One Road Hill" early into the album, but where his brother would open up these neo-hippie vibes and find an endless groove, Rich Robinson carves away the fat and focuses on the song. This precision is a blessing, as it gives The Ceaseless Sight an immediacy but also a welcoming warmth, as the album is about song as much as it is about sound. Robinson may be too conversational of a vocalist, blending into his guitar tapestry instead of standing apart, but ultimately there's something endearing about this humble delivery because it suggests that he'll do nothing to stand in the way of the songs; he's here to serve their melody and feel, and he does so quite charmingly on The Ceaseless Sight.

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