Shake Your Money Maker
Black Crowes’ frontman Chris Robinson enjoyed dramatic success after the band released their 5x platinum debut album titled Shake Your Money Maker, in 1990. The recording burned its way up the charts with the singles “Hard to Handle” and “She Talks to Angels.” Peppered with many lineup changes, the band built their career in the rock music world through such albums as the controversial Amorica (1994) and Three Snakes & One Charm (1996). After leaving the band in the early 2000s, Robinson received positive reviews for his album New Earth Mud (2002).
Outside his musical career, Robinson is famous as the husband of actress Kate Hudson and the father of Ryder Russell Robinson. In August 2006, the couple reportedly parted ways, although friends stated they never split permanently. Robinson and Hudson, who also had a very brief fling with actor Owen Wilson, reunited over the Labor Day weekend watching the NASCAR races together in Fontana, California. Previously, Robinson was married to Lala Sloatman (1996-1998).
Childhood and Family:
A son of a musician, Christopher Mark Robinson was born on December 20, 1966, in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the brother of guitarist Rich Robinson, with whom he discovered a love for most kinds of rock from groups like Big Star and Led Zeppelin. In the early 1980s, the two brothers created a band called “Mr. Crowe’s Garden.” Chris’ soulful voice and attractive performance was finally noticed by American Recordings’ representatives, which led to their signing with the label under the moniker “The Black Crowes.”
After marrying Lala Sloatman (1996-1998), Chris married actress Kate Hudson on December 31, 2000. The couple’s son, Ryder Russell Robinson, was born on January 7, 2004. In August 2006, Kate’s publicist announced their separation, but the couple is reportedly rekindling their relationship. A friend of the couple told the New York Times, “They never really split. They love each other. Chris can be sarcastic and biting, but not with her.”
New Earth Mud
Chris Robinson and The Black Crowes, which was heavily influenced by The Rolling Stones and The Faces, launched the debut studio album Shake Your Money Maker, in 1990. Surprisingly, the first album sold very well and was certified 5 times platinum in 1995. After breaking the Top 30 Billboard chart with the singles “Hard to Handle” and “She Talks to Angels,” the debut recording also produced the hit songs “Twice As Hard” and “Seeing Things.”
With some new personnel (Marc Ford on guitar and Eddie Harsch on keyboard), the Crowes recorded the sophomore album The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, which was released in 1992. The double platinum album received heavy airplay for its singles “Remedy,” “Thorn in My Pride,” “Sting Me,” “Sometimes Salvation” and “Hotel Illness.” Following the unreleased Tall (1993), the band enhanced their status in the rock music scene with the controversially covered gold album Amorica (1994) and Three Snakes & One Charm (1996).
However, the Crowes’ internal conflicts resulted in the release of The Band (1997) and replacing Marc Ford with Audley Freed and bassist Johnny Colt with Sven Pipien. Furthermore, their next studio album, By Your Side (1999), suffered poor sales. The Black Crowes, which in 2000 went on a huge tour with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, briefly hired blues bassist Greg Rzab to fill in a position left by Sven Pipien.
After leaving American Recordings, they worked in the noted album Lions (2001) with Virgin subsidiary V2 Records. Although receiving critical acclaim for the album, Robinson decided to quit the band to make music with more folk-based material. Their sold-out final shows at Boston’s Orpheum Theatre (live album released in 2002) marked the band’s indefinite hiatus from recording and performing.
Robinson’s first solo attempt, “The Red Road” (2002), could be heard in the Goldie Hawn-starring film The Banger Sisters (2002). The same year, he released the solo debut album New Earth Mud, which offered collaborations with ex-Crowes Marc Ford and Eddie Harsch. The singer also allied with Paul Stacey (as co-songwriter and producer) for the positively reviewed album This Magnificent Distance (2004) before unexpectedly exiling himself.
On his comeback, Robinson reunited with several Crowes’ members for a number of live performances, including a tour in Canada and the UK. In 2006, the singer performed with brother Rich on the “Brothers of a Feather” tour.