Rich Robinson formerly of The Black Crowes has announced two albums under his new band name The Magpie Salute entitled High Water I due for release 10th August 2018 and High Water II due in 2019 via Provogue and Mascot Label Group.
The project includes other former Black Crowes members guitarist Marc Ford and bassist Sven Pipien but also includes new vocalist John Hogg (formerly of Hookah Brown), keyboardist Matt Slocum and drummer Joe Magistro who have joined Robinson’s solo records and previous tours. Robinson will join the band as a guitarist.
Robinson states: ““It’s the recontextualization of playing with one another, when I was putting this thing together, I was thinking about how even though we may not have played for almost a decade, it just comes back immediately. The chemistry is unexplainable. Of course, I’m the same guy who played with the Black Crowes and wrote all of those songs, but this is a different context for myself, Marc, and Sven. It’s the convergence of three different worlds and eras for me. We’re all here together in this one place. Simultaneously, it’s amazing for Marc and Sven to play with Joe and Matt and John to be in the middle of it all. For me, that was really cool to witness. This is what I wanted to do.”
Guitarist Marc Ford states: “The more time we spend together, the more I realize how much of my life is involved with Rich. This is probably the best band I’ve ever been in. As a player, it challenges me. There’s something beyond us that we’re agreeing with. This music wants us to be a part of it. Rich and I just agreed that whatever it took for us to drop our bullshit—so be it. That way, we could let this happen in our lives. It’s better when we’re together than when we’re not. We’re better friends than we’ve ever been. I’ve learned more about him in the last year than I had in the past thirty. Rich and I have been able to pick up this fragmented broken piece of a very bizarre life together and unite as grown men and say, ‘Wow, that was something. Let’s see what we can do with it.’”
Vocalist John Hogg goes onto say: “We’re all very aware of this position we’re in, Rich and Marc have this intense and long history together in quite a public way. At the same time, you’ve got Sven who’s been in the band forever, and Joe has been with Rich for 15 years. I have this history with Rich. I won’t lie; it’s all quite unusual,” he laughs, “I’m working with the greatest musicians I’ve ever worked with. The dynamic is powerful and positive. There’s been a number of long journeys that suddenly all coalesce.”
The band have since released the track Send Me An Omen which can be listened to below:
Robinson states about the track: “It’s a rock ‘n’ roll song, it’s about a relationship that’s not working. By the time it gets to the chorus, there’s a happier singalong juxtaposed to John’s lyrics. I enjoy messing around with songs that tow the line between dark and light.”
The Magpie Salute first came to be at the Woodstock Festival in 2016 with a ten man lineup, the group then playing at four sold out nights at The Gramercy in 2017. The band have since played at over 77 concerts, playing The Black Crowe’s material, original songs, Robinson’s solo material and covers. The band went onto release their debut The Magpie Salute (Live) with one original track ending the set called Omission. The band went to Dark Horse Studios in Nashville with a fresh 6 person lineup.
Robinson states: ““Touring as a ten-piece is cool, but it’s more like a revue, everything on stage was great. When you’re ready to record, there’s a lot of space that needs to be considered though. We didn’t want it to get too chaotic or too hard to sift through. The core was really important and needed to shine as a strong six-piece. It was great to build something new last year. We were born in a sense. Now, we’re working towards something as a tight unit.”
Ford continues: “We bashed out all of the framework on tour, when we got off the road, we focused and let it really shine.”
Robinson concludes: “I want people to realize it’s something different and also a little familiar, I hope they can connect it to the records that defined their lives. Music is there to give us joy, perspective, and show angles we haven’t seen before. I appreciate it more than ever. It’s a gift.”
“I hope listeners can be relieved of some of their burdens by hearing us have fun and share our stories, that’s all I could ask for,” finishes Hogg
Ford ends the press release stating, “Ultimately, there’s a spirit of reconciliation over the whole thing—because we all dropped a lot of bullshit to get together and make this music happen. There’s freedom and power in that. It’s a pretty righteous record as a result. It’s a lot of grown men who have lived and are still standing to bravely and truthfully tell about it.”