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Rich Robinson: Paper

Black Crowes guitarist’s 2004 maiden solo flight revisited.

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.