January 16, 2015

Guitarist and co-founder of the Black Crowes, Rich Robinson released a statement announcing his split with older brother and vocalist Chris Robinson and the breakup of the band.


The Crowes will always be beloved for their rootsy combination of classic Southern Rock mixed with key elements of the Faces and the Rolling Stones in their classic 1968 to 1973 Jimmy Miller era. The Robinson Brothers have long had a tempestuous relationship, and in 2002 the Crowes went on a prolonged eight-year hiatus, which most fans figured would be the death knell to the band — who never lost their ability to fill venues and excite audiences everywhere they played. They last toured together in 2013.

Rich laid the blame of the split at his brother’s feet in his official announcement, which reads in full:

It is with great disappointment and regret that after having the privilege of writing and performing the music of The Black Crowes over the last 24 years, I find myself in the position of saying that the band has broken up. I hold my time with the Black Crowes with the utmost respect and sincerest appreciation. It is a huge swath of my life’s body of work. I couldn’t be more proud of what we accomplished and deeply moved by the relationships people created and maintained with my music. That alone is the greatest honor of being a musician.

I love my brother and respect his talent but his present demand that I must give up my equal share of the band and that our drummer for 28 years and original partner, Steve Gorman, relinquish 100 percent of his share, reducing him to a salaried employee, is not something I could agree to.

There are so many people who have helped and supported us along the way. I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all of our fans, our friends behind the scenes, and to everyone who was a part of the Black Crowes.”

B-Crowes_R_Papers_WingsEarlier this week, Chris Robinson chatted with and spoke about the Crowes in regards to his solo career:

“I know the Black Crowes are not going to turn around and be something that I think is super amazing again and fun and vibrant with the energy I’m looking for. So yeah. The other thing is you give the Black Crowes their due. I’m super proud of it.

The only reason I went out and did the tour in 2013 is because I’m just like the people who love the Black Crowes. Music affects me on a cellular level, and it has always been that way. I listen to music at the most joyous occasional, and I listen to music when I’m threadbare if you will. I did it because people love those songs, and that’s a deep connection. But if I’m gonna do something else with other people, that was then, and this is now, and that was another exercise in a different sound. That’s not necessarily me. That was a group of people that made that sound just like this is.”


Even as far back as 2003, during the band’s first major parting, Chris Robinson said that he wasn’t hedging his bets on the band coming back again: “I wouldn’t be too hopeful about that. I mean, as of today, I don’t ever see it happening, y’know what I mean? Now, that doesn’t mean in a couple of years it wouldn’t be fun or something. To be honest, I wouldn’t see myself having any time to do it, honestly, in the next four to five years, but as of today, no.”