THE MAGPIE SALUTE–Driven by the magic of the reunited Rich Robinson and Marc Ford guitar team of The Black Crowes–this new band features musicians who’ve played together for decades throughout various projects and who share a truly deep musical bond. Joining Robinson, Ford and bassist Sven Pipien are drummer Joe Magistro and guitarist Nico Bereciartua. The group also boasts a fine cast of vocalists, including Robinson, Ford, lead singer John Hogg (Hookah Brown, Moke), former Crowes singer Charity White and background singers, Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen.
The tour is to kick off the worldwide release their self-titled debut album (June 9 – Eagle Rock Entertainment). Produced by Robinson, the musically tight and expansive album was recorded live in the studio in front of an audience at Applehead Recording in Woodstock, New York, except for the deeply soulful rock ballad studio track, “Omission.” The album carries special significance as it marks the last recorded work by Eddie Harsch, the late Black Crowes keyboardist whose signature sound and gentle soul are woven into THE MAGPIE SALUTE.
Reflecting on his past, Robinson stated, “I feel Marc and I have a deep musical connection… As I get older, I realize what a gift it is to play with people with whom you share that language of music.” Reiterating Rich’s point about musical rapport, Marc added, “it’s one of those things that was there before we met. Musically, we were already family.”
There is wide open musical freedom on the band’s music, with half of the songs coming in over seven minutes in length, and the musicians’ wide-ranging roots are reflected in the diverse selections. They offer fresh takes of The Black Crowes’ “What Is Home” and “Wiser Time,” and interpret songs by Delaney and Bonnie (“Comin’ Home”), Bobby Hutcherson (“Goin’ Down South”), War (“War Drums”), Pink Floyd (“Fearless”), the Faces (“Glad and Sorry”), Bob Marley (“Time Will Tell,” which The Black Crowes covered on their second album) and the traditional “Ain’t No More Cane.”
Asked about The Magpie Salute’s artistic vision and musical approach, Rich stated, “I, and everyone involved, love playing music. Not only on our own, in The Crowes and in my band, but playing music in general. We want to make music again together with a fresh perspective. To present this music I wrote in a different light with these amazing players is going to be really special to me.”
To create this new sound, Rich and his ensemble have called upon their collective influences, from R&B, country and spirituals, to artists such as Sly Stone, Neil Young, and The Small Faces – a vast musical landscape which, at its core, is pure Rock n Roll. “It’s also deeper than that”, Rich goes on to say. “It’s freedom, it’s love, it’s loss, it’s pure joy. It’s misery, it’s simultaneously arrogance and vulnerability. It is life.”