The Black Crowes played their final show on December 14th, 2013, and as guitarist Rich Robinson tells Rolling Stone Country, there’s little hope for a reunion of the group he formed with his older brother, singer Chris Robinson.
“Chris is done with it and we’re done with him, in a weird way. And it sucks, because that band could still do a lot of great things,” Robinson says. He chalks it up to his sibling’s commitment to his jam-influenced band the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.
“He’s just into the Grateful Dead. That’s all he really cares about. He makes his records sound like the Dead; he hangs out with the Dead. It’s fucking crazy,” says Robinson. “But that’s what he wants to do. And if he’s happy doing it, good for him, man.”
Rich released the solo album Flux in June and has relocated to Nashville. He spent the summer backing up drummer Simon Kirke and singer Paul Rodgers on Bad Company’s tour after guitarist Mick Ralphs decided he didn’t want to travel.
“I grew up a huge fan of Free and to play with Simon and Paul was amazing,” Robinson says. “I had met Paul doing this Jimmy Page tribute in Seattle … and he wanted me to play on some Firm songs. I guess he really liked the way I played, so when Mick couldn’t do the tour, Paul called. It was one of those things I’d never done, go play someone else’s songs and be in a band, but it was a lot of fun.”
In December, Robinson will rejoin original Crowes drummer Steve Gorman for the “Misty Marathon Hop Vol. 1: All-Star Zeppelin Tribute” in Nashville featuring a night of Led Zeppelin classics. Along with fellow Nashville resident Gorman, he regularly sees his old bandmates and recently played a series of shows in Woodstock, New York, with former Crowes Marc Ford, Eddie Harsch and Sven Pipien.
“They came and joined my band and we did a whole bunch of songs together … I play with all the Crowes minus Chris,” says Robinson, who nonetheless shakes his head at the Black Crowes’ career running its course.
“It didn’t have to, but it did.”