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Rich Robinson: Paper

Black Crowes guitarist’s 2004 maiden solo flight revisited.

Rich Robinson Paper album review

When the Black Crowes, which guitarist Rich Robinson started with his older brother Chris in 1984, went on hiatus in 2001, the former commenced a solo career with an album called Paper.

Although continuing his own projects after the Crowes reignited in 2005, a new reissue deal found him revisiting Paper but discovering the master tapes had been damaged by 2012’s Hurricane Sandy. Forced to record new vocals, Robinson rewrote lyrics and finished three tracks which didn’t make the original album, on which he had been joined by keyboardist Eddie Harsch, fiddle-pedal steel maestro Donnie Herron and awesomely funky drummer Joe Magistro.

They cook up a compelling southern rock gumbo, bubbling with multi-tiered guitar power worthy of early Doobies and sounding like Van Morrison colliding with Sticky Fingers-era Stones on atmospheric ballads such as Baby. All told, a masterclass in pulling triumphant victory out of potential disaster.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!