THE MAGPIE SALUTE
Calling all Black Crowes fans! Run, don’t walk, to your phone, Sonos system, laptop, record store (just kidding) – however you roll – and check out The Magpie Salute’s eponymous live debut record. The Magpie Salute is the new band put together by Crowes co-founder and guitarist Rich Robinson. It also features former Crowes guitarist, Marc Ford and bassist, Sven Pipien. From the first few notes, literally, you will be transported back to your days blasting Shake Your Money Maker in your college dorm room. Check out those first few notes of which I speak, from “Omission,” below, and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you.
Does anybody else hear a little Chris Cornell in the vocals of John Hogg?
I typically describe the highlights of a record, but this album is one extended highlight, which complicates things. I can’t describe every song, can I?
I do have to mention the band’s cover of “Fearless,” which originally appeared on Pink Floyd’s Meddle album back in 1971. The Magpie Salute give the tune a full-on overhaul, bringing the song into the modern era, the ubiquitous slide guitar awakening the track from its early ‘70s slumber, while still preserving its dreamy soundscape. See what you think:
I also have to mention the nine-minute jam, “War Drums,” which channels the Allman Brothers’ “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” (after the first 40 seconds of vocals) and “Whipping Post.” It will help you believe music can survive the recent death of Gregg Allman.
And it would simply be journalistic malpractice if I didn’t point out that two fantastic covers of the Crowes appear on the record, “Wiser Time” and “Time Will Tell,” the latter of which extends for over seven minutes and converts the song from a plantation holler to a reggae-infused sunbeam.
The balance of the record (there are only five other songs) won’t disappoint either, particularly The Band-inspired harmonies of “Ain’t No More Cain.”
Okay, I’m done mentioning specific tracks. Just go listen to the record. Now.