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A Night with Magpie Salute

A Night with Magpie Salute

by Robert Forte

2017 was an extremely active year for The Magpie Salute as the band toured extensively before going into a brief hibernation to begin the recording process for their first studio effort, set to be released August 10th, High Water I.   

Mapgie Salute - Greenwich, RI - July 2018 - Robert Forte - 1

The brief repose saw Rich Robinson and company choose to make a few alternations to the band’s lineup, as well as the direction and scope of the music they would choose to play live and record.

Throughout the entirety of the band’s first tour the Magpie Salute featured a more preponderant troupe, which included three backup singers and a third guitar player in Argentina’s own Nico Bereciartua.

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Additionally, the band’s initial live shows focused on unique interpretations of Black Crowes’ favorites, select cuts from Marc Ford’s and Robinson’s solo projects, as well as a number of choice covers, many of which were staples of Black Crowe’s performances of yesteryear.

Fast forward to 2018 and it’s clear that Robinson and the Magpie Salute have actively chosen to point the band in a neoteric direction.     

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The new alignment has seen the band jettison their trifecta of back up singers as well as Bereciartua. 

More importantly, the Magpie Salute seem laser focused on forging ahead musically versus continuing to regurgitate the past.    

The direct result of these alternations is the band’s live shows this time around are largely proving to be a showcase for the Magpie Salute’s new material.

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Although some Black Crowes’ die-hards may be reluctant to initially embrace this musical metamorphosis, the reality is the Magpie Salute would likely cease to exist if their very existence was primarily going to remain rooted in the past.

Any individual that believes this transformation may be for the worst, clearly haven’t taken in the Magpie Salute’s current tour.

Mapgie Salute - Greenwich, RI - July 2018 - Robert Forte - 7

Although their set lists now only include an obscure Black Crowe’s cover or two, everything that helped make the Crowe’s as well as the Magpie Salute special, remains intact.   

John Hogg’s vocals now have the opportunity to shine in their own right and, without the weight of unnecessary comparisons and the interplay between Ford and Robinson, is as fiery as ever, if not gloriously reborn.

The reduced numbers in the band actually sees the quintet function and sound much more like the rock and roll show pony the Magpie Salute always seemed destined to become in the first place.

This past weekend in the Rhode Island enclave of East Greenwich the band delighted new and old followers alike with a 19-song set list that featured nine of the twelve tracks that can be found on High Water I.

“Sister Moon”, a slow burner that’s hauntingly beautiful, featured Robinson’s irradiant slide guitar while additionally providing a forum for Hogg to prove to anyone he deserves his time in the sun.

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Another highlight on the evening included the title track off of High Water I.  The song once again served to highlight Hogg’s lambency as a vocalist.   

The track also provided ample runway for Robinson and Ford to trade guitar licks while also taking the audience into the far reaches of galactic outer space via one of the duo’s trademark out of this world guitar jams.

Keys player Matt Slocum and former Black Crowe’s bass player Sven Pipien also were provided the opportunity to showcase their ample talents throughout the evening with the band’s rhythm section, with the assistance of resplendent drummer Joe Magistro, bringing the house down via their interpretation of Agitation Free’s “Laila II.”

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The track also saw Ford launch into the type of lengthy, fervid guitar solo that fans have come to expect from the legendary southern California based ax man. 

The band treated long time Black Crowe’s fans to the only Crowe’s original of the evening, “Paint an 8”, off of the 2006 compilation record, The Lost Crowes, before ending the evening with a track from High Water I that will likely be a staple of their live shows for years to come, “Send Me an Omen”.

Once again the song featured a long and winding solo from Ford and some of the trademark guitar interplay with Robinson that millions of fans fell in love oh so many years ago.

As the band thanked the Rhode Island crowd and began to make their way off the Greenwich Odeum’s stage Robinson made one final quip, jokingly stating,

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“Sorry we have to end the show right now but apparently there’s a rumble to get to between our fans and the CRB’s.”

Outside of that comical remark there wasn’t too much to the show that tied The Magpie Salute to the storied Black Crowes musical franchise.

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And you know what, for anyone seeking out new music that is likely to inspire them as well as the next generation of music fans, that’s actually a good thing.

The band seem to have little problem with continuing to pay homage to their roots and history, however, they’re also clearly pointed in a direction that’s opening up new musical doors and pathways for fans to embrace and enjoy for hopefully many more years to come.

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The Magpie Salute is only now beginning to rocket past the launching pad toward what’s sure to be the interstellar rock and roll journey of lifetime. 

Come hell or high water, do yourself a favor and buy a ticket to this rock and roll mother ship and come share the ride one more time. 

Pre-order High Water I!

See full gallery or the night

Catch them on tour:

AUG5
Oslo, Norway
AUG6
Mon 7 PM UTC+02Hosted by The Magpie Salute
Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden
AUG8
Wed 7 PM UTC+02Hosted by The Magpie Salute
Berlin, Germany
AUG9
Thu 7:30 PM UTC+02130 guests
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
AUG10
Fri 6:30 PM UTC+01136 guests
London, England, United Kingdom
AUG10
Fri 7 PM UTC+01149 guests
London, England, United Kingdom
AUG17
Fri 8 PM116 guests
AUG18
Sat 7 PMHosted by The Magpie Salute
Charleston, SC
AUG19
Sun 8 PM CDTHosted by The Magpie Salute
Nashville, TN
AUG21
Tue 7 PMHosted by The Magpie Salute
AUG24
Fri 7 PM CDTHosted by The Magpie Salute
AUG26
Sun 7 PM CDTHosted by The Magpie Salute
Des Moines, IA
AUG28
Tue 8 PM CDTHosted by The Magpie Salute
AUG29
Wed 7 PM CDTHosted by The Magpie Salute
Papillion, NE
AUG30
Thu 8 PM MDT77 guests
Boulder, CO
AUG31
Fri 5:30 PM MDT176 guests
Park City, UT
SEP1
Sat 7 PM MDTHosted by The Magpie Salute
Big Sky Brewing Company
SEP5
Wed 7 PMHosted by The Magpie Salute
Grand Rapids, MI
SEP6
Thu 8 PMHosted by The Magpie Salute
Kent, OH
SEP7
Fri 8 PMHosted by The Magpie Salute
New York, NY
SEP8
Sat 8 PM137 guests
SEP9
Sun 7 PMHosted by The Magpie Salute
SEP12
Wed 12 PM UTC-03Hosted by The Magpie Salute
Fredericton, NB, Canada
SEP13
Thu 8 PMHosted by The Magpie Salute
Portland, ME
SEP14
Fri 8 PM140 guests
Beverly, MA
SEP15
Sat 8 PM200 guests
Hampton Beach, NH
SEP16
Sun 12 PMHosted by The Magpie Salute
Grand Point North
SEP19
Wed 7 PMHosted by The Magpie Salute
Norfolk, VA
SEP21
Fri 8 PM141 guests
Atlanta, GA
SEP22
Sat 10:30 AM531 guests
Columbia, SC
SEP23
Sun 12 PMHosted by The Magpie Salute
Louisville, KY
JAN11
Fri 9 PM PSTHosted by The Magpie Salute
Berkeley, CA
JAN12
Sat 8 PM PSTHosted by The Magpie Salute

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