As co-founder of the Black Crowes, Rich Robinson spent the better part of three decades onstage with his older brother, firing twin barrels of revivalist rock riffage and Bible Belt boogie-woogie. That sort of sibling-heavy history makes him an ideal contributor to this month’s Southern Family, a new concept album focusing on the stories, struggles and blood ties that exist below the Mason-Dixon line.
Produced by Dave Cobb, Southern Family comes to a close with “The Way Home.” The gospel song finds Robinson collaborating with Nashville-based choir the Settles Connection, who also appear in this live performance video filmed in a church. The guitarist doesn’t sing — he leaves that job to the choir members — but Robinson’s playing speaks volumes, laying a gritty, earthy foundation for a song about ascending heavenward.
Southern Family also features performances by Zac Brown, Miranda Lambert, Brandy Clark and John Paul White, whose plaintive “Simple Song” opens the album.