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metal talk
(Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Release Date: 24th June 2016

Joe Geesin

joe geesin

rich robinson

Guitarist Rich Robinson, along with his older brother and vocalist Chris, formed Mr Crowes Garden in the mid 80s, changing their name to the Black Crowes before their 1990 debut, 'Shake Your Money Maker'.

During many a hiatus and post Crowes, Robinson has worked in other projects, including with his brother, as well as solo. Eagle Rock have neatly reissued his solo work, culminating in this new solo album.

As a guitarist, Robinson was influenced by The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd (notably obvious on some of the early Black Crowes material) as well as Neil Young, Nick Drake and Peter Green. The aforementioned debut, released in 1990, was recorded in 1989 and featured a blistering and successful cover of 'Hard To Handle', a breath of fresh air in the face of grunge.

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1992s 'The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion' also did well, 'Remedy' being a successful single from the album. The 'Tall' album was scrapped and this spawned the 'Amorica' album, with the infamously banned in some markets sleeve, in 1994.

'Three Snakes & One Charm', 'By Your Side', 'Lions', 'Warpaint' and 'Before The Frost Until The Freeze' take the band up to 2009, interspersed by breakups, other projects, projects and a number of different line-ups. 2016 will also see Robinson as a temporary replacement for Mick Ralphs in a reformed Bad Company.

Robinson's debut solo release, 'Paper', was released in 2004 and was followed by 'Through A Crooked Sun' and 2014's 'The Ceaseless Sight' and there's also been a number of EPs and live sets along the way. This album, 'Flux', is Rich Robinson's fourth solo studio set and here he is joined by keyboardists Matt Slocum (Allman Brothers) Marco Benevento and Danny Mitchell, bassist Zak Gabbard, drummer Joe Magistro and vocalists John Hogg and Danielia Cotton.

Much of Robinson's solo work has moved away from the Black Crowes, to the point of being a little off the wall. This album maybe less so, as opener 'The Upstairs Land' kicks off with a rich keyboard led groove before some harsh bluesy guitars come in.

'Shipwreck' has a more soul and funk feel, the harsh drum sound leading the rhythm. There's some acoustic blues to the electric Americana of 'Music That Will Lift Me', that features Blackberry Smoke's Charlie Starr. Equally there's a hint of gospel swell to 'Everything's Alright'.

The guitar on 'Eclipse The Night' stands out, that has both blues and funk touches and the emotional build up to 'Life' reels you in. An interesting rhythm nods to disjointed without going off the rails, and the effects make for a range of feels throughout the song.

Much like the new Eric Clapton album, it's not as much about the guitar, certainly a lot less than 20 years ago, it's all about the songs, the groove. While there is some excellent guitar work across blues, soul, funk and rock, intricate and at times blistering, it is all a little more MOR than the casual Black Crowes fan might expect. Check out the guitar solo in 'Astral' for that "guitar" moment.

Overall very enjoyable, but I think one for the fan and guitarist rather than the rocker in you.

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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