RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Rich Robinson – Flux
Eagle Rock Entertainment

Rating: A

Rich Robinson has been trekking around the USA this summer sitting in with Bad Company and playing guitar on their current tour.  He is, of course, most famous for being a founding member of The Black Crowes.  With that band he became famous for his songwriting and soloing—as well as feuding with his brother!  Once again, he has slipped into the studio as a solo artist and released a true gem that showcases both his songwriting talent and guitar playing. The result is his best solo effort on every level.

Rich teamed up with Eagle Rock Entertainment to release expanded, re-imagined versions of his solo albums, including Paper, Llama Blues, Through A Crooked Sun, and Woodstock Sessions (on CD and colored vinyl), and Record Store Day exclusives of “Got To Get Better In A Little While” (10” vinyl) and “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’” (7” vinyl). These re-issues served as a fitting lead-up to Flux.   This was like a taste of what was to come, a look back that explains how Rich was setting himself up to release the most magnificent release of his long career.

Flux sees the reserved singer/songwriter/guitarist create 13 new songs that focus on where he came from, where he is now and where he is going in the future.  Rich explained how being in the studio is where he feels most at home, “I love being in the recording studio.  It fuels the desire to create within me. I enjoy watching it unfold. Each development fires another idea and in the end, you have this organically created song that seemingly came out of nowhere. It brings me such joy and peace. It never ceases to amaze me.”

The first single from the album, “Music That Will Lift Me” features Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke on guitar and is a roots-rock offering that will please his fans.  The opening track “The Upstairs Land” has that Crowe’s-like groove, but less rockin’ and more... well, grooving.  The album actually gets stronger as the music goes on.  “Astral” is pure genius, while “For to Give” has an emotional impact, vocally and musically, featuring some of Rich’s best playing on the album.  “Which Way the Wind Blows” is another song that demands repeated listens—don’t miss that weird funky guitar solo towards the end, either!  Look, this sucker is good… it’s mellow, it is groovy… at times it rocks and at times it will make you get out your lava lamp… most importantly, it feels real… it plays like an entire album… a collection of songs that belong together.

Truth be told, there is not a bad note on this sucker.  Rich Robinson, the quiet brother, has reached deep into his heart and soul and made the album he wanted to make, the way he wanted to make it.  The result is a must-own album for any fan of music.

Look for Rich on the road performing these songs starting in July of 2016.

1.) The Upstairs Land
2.) Shipwreck
3.) Music That Will Lift Me
4.) Everything’s Alright
5.) Eclipse The Night
6.) Life
7.) Ides Of Nowhere
8.) Time To Leave
9.) Astral
10.) For To Give
11.) Which Way Your Wind Blows
12.) Surrender
13.) Sleepwalker

Jeb “Hard to Handle” Wright