The Magpie Salute may be the most successful rock band that most people have never heard of.
The band features three members from The Black Crowes — guitarists Rich Robinson and Marc Ford, as well as bassist Sven Pipien — along with a few experienced musicians joining them: vocalist John Hogg, keyboardist Matt Slocum, and drummer Joe Magistro. In 2017, they released a live album as their debut which featured two original songs, seven covers (with an interesting range of songwriters including Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Bonnie & Delaney with Eric Clapton, and WAR), and one Black Crowes song ("Wiser Time").
In 2018, The Magpie Salute plan to release their first studio album together, High Water, and this week they released the first single from the LP, "Send Me An Omen." Listen above. The song is a rootsy foot-stomper, combining guitar-driven hard rock with R&B and gospel influences. It's not the most original or creative song, especially in terms of the lyricism, but there is no denying the musicianship and production are top-notch. Things really pick up about halfway through, with the guitar and vocals playing off each other beautifully.
Band leader Rich Robinson shared some insight about the name of the group:
I’ve always loved the element of crows, but they have a dark connotation... Magpies are revered by ancient and indigenous cultures around the world, because they walk that bridge between dark and light. A magpie is also a cousin to a crow. This band was a cousin to the Crowes last year. Now, there’s a superstition where you salute a magpie if you see him. It supposedly wards off bad spirits. A salute means, ‘We come in peace.’ That’s our goal.
High Water is scheduled to be released on August 10, 2018.
The band have concerts scheduled later this year with Gov't Mule, the Avett Brothers, and Blackberry Smoke. For more music, news, and tour dates, check out The Magpie Salute's Zumic artist page.