The Magpie Salute
American rock collective the Magpie Salute were born out of a brief reunion between former members of the Black Crowes, but their undeniable chemistry led to a longer term project. In 2016, Rich Robinson, former guitarist and co-founder of the Crowes, was asked to perform and record for the Woodstock Sessions project; having taken part as a solo act in 2014, Robinson decided to form a loose collective with former Black Crowes members Marc Ford (guitar), Sven Pipien (bass), and Eddie Harsch (keys). Although the sessions consisted mainly of covers, the long-standing chemistry of the musicians convinced them to pursue new material once the show was over. Unfortunately, in November of the same year, Harsch passed away at the age of 59. Robinson recruited drummer Joe Magistro, guitarist Nico Bereciartua, lead vocalists John Hogg and Charity White, and background singers Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen to fill out the lineup. The Magpie Salute were ready for their first proper live show in early 2017, and they performed at the Gramercy Theatre in New York. An eponymous live album filled with cover versions appeared in June 2017 but the group's official debut, High Water I, was released in August in 2018. High Water I showcased original material and was designed as the first installment in a two-part album; the second volume was scheduled for release in 2019. ~ Liam Martin
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Rock - Released June 9, 2017 | Eagle Rock Entertainment
Rich Robinson decided to reach out to Marc Ford in 2014, a gesture that healed a decade's worth of animosity between the two Black Crowes guitarists. They in turn brought former Crowes keyboardist Eddie Harsch into a circle that included Robinson's touring band -- which also featured Sven Pipien, who played bass in the waning days of the Black Crowes -- and this crew of seven musicians and three backup singers formed the Magpie Salute. Harsch passed during the recording of the group's eponymous 2017 debut -- they recruited Matt Slocum in his place -- but the essential fact remains: the Magpie Salute sound like a reconstituted version of the Black Crowes, only heavier. Some of that weight is due to how the focus of the group is on the interplay between Robinson and Ford, who keep spiraling solos and riffs, intertwining and weaving instead of battling. Some of this heaviness is also due to the absence of Chris Robinson, who was a charismatic frontman in the Crowes and also brought along a strong dose of hippie mysticism. Despite a cover of Pink Floyd's "Fearless," the Magpie Salute have no time for the cosmos. They're proudly earthbound as they crank out versions of old Delaney & Bonnie and Faces tunes, dabbling in a few deep Crowes cuts for good measure. The presence of these oldies underscores how this group is mature -- not as reckless in approach, but confident and assured, a band of lifers who still gain sustenance from playing the music of their life. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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