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Magpie Salute – Magpie Salute

June 12, 2017

I am a big fan of the Brother’s Robinson – originally via the Black Crowes, but even more now due to their solo work and new bands.  Their post Crowes material is top notch.  

Per the Magpie Salute’s website:

THE MAGPIE SALUTE is an exciting new band that features musicians who have played together for decades throughout various projects and share a musical bond. The band brings Rich Robinson, the guitarist and co-founding member of The Black Crowes, together with two key members of Crowes fame – guitarist Marc Ford and bassist Sven Pipien – alongside drummer Joe Magistro and guitarist Nico Bereciartua. The Magpie Salute also boasts a fine cast of vocalists, including lead singer John Hogg (Hookah Brown, Moke), former Crowes singer Charity White and background singers, Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen.


So the band has perfect name (a magpie is of the crow family – see final quote at the end of this post), how do they sound? They sound great.  There have great vocals (both lead and backup) and a great twin guitar attack. They recorded the album live, in the studio and in front of an audience at Applehead Recording in Woodstock (where Rich has been recording his last solo albums). The recording quality is high and with taught arrangements. The recording is so clean; it is a bit of a shock when the crowd erupts at the end of a song.

“Omission” is the sole Magpie Salute original.   Back when I was a kid, we would have called this hard rock. The song would not sound out of place on a Soundgarden album.  It features lead vocals by John Hogg.  Hogg is a new voice to me and I look forward to doing some more research on him.

“Comin’ Home” is a Delaney & Bonnie song from On Tour With Eric Clapton.  It is a great jam for the twin axes of Robinson and Ford to spar and for the multiple vocalists to harmonize.

“What Is Home” is a Rich Robinson original that first appeared on the Black Crowes’ album Before The FrostUntil The Freeze (2009).

“Wiser Time” is another Black Crowes’ song from Amorica (1994).  The song feels like you are flying.

“Goin’ Down South” is a soul jazz song composed by Joe Sample (Crusaders) and was originally from the Bobby Hutchison/Harold Land album San Francisco. This is a perfect groove for an instrumental jam. It has some great keyboards and it is a sad reminder that keyboardist Eddie Harsch passed away shortly after this album was recorded.

“War Drums” is a cover of a song from the band War. Magpie Salute finds more inspiration from this song than I would have ever imagined.

“Ain’t No More Cane” is a traditional prison work song. The arrangement sounds like an outtake from The Band. In fact, it appeared on The Basement Tapes.

“Fearless” is from Meddle by Pink Floyd. The original was acoustic, and the Magpie Salute electrify it.

“Glad And Sorry,” composed by Ronnie Lane, is a Faces’ song. The Black Crowes always seemed like a Faces inspired band – so this is a very appropriate cover.

“Time Will Tell” is by Bob Marley from his album Kaya. Reggae covers can be cornball, but the band avoids pretending to be Jamaican and makes it their own.

I am impressed with this band. The best part is the twin guitar attack for Rich Robinson and Marc Ford – these guys have many miles with each other – so it is an easy conversation. The album has good diversity without being a grab bag. If you like a good jam band in the spirit of the Allman Brothers, you will like this.

Another quote from the band’s website:

Rich explains how the band members’ past experiences connect to the band’s moniker, The Magpie Salute. The term references a British superstition about the imperative to salute a Magpie anytime you see one in order to ward off negativity, or to have a good day; it is like saying, I am unarmed or I come in peace. Rich says, “The magpie falls within the crow umbrella of species, figuratively and literally. Magpies can be black and white, which for me represents the dark and the light. “The way to salute a magpie, is to say Good Morning Captain. I felt this had too many coincidences to ignore. He adds, “This touches on many aspects of my life and experiences.”

Here is a playlist of the originals:



From → Music Reviews

  1. I’m listening to this and liking it quite a bit. You had posted the Chris Robinson Brotherhood before but I found them a little too loose and ragtag for my tastes. (Not to mention in their picture, scary-looking.) This variant has more of the Crowes’ tightness.

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