Imagine a group of musicians from different bands coming together to form a new band.
There you have, The Magpie Salute, a band with new and original music, releasing their debut album, High Water I, this Friday, 10thAugust.
Pulled together by guitarist Rich Robinson, it continued a storyline he began in the Black Crowes with guitarist Marc Ford and bassist Sven Pipien. Meanwhile, vocalist John Hogg shared Hookah Brown with Robinson as keyboardist Matt Slocum and drummer Joe Magistro both joined him for solo records and tours over the years.
You need to clear your mind of The Black Crowes or any other the band members are involved in, this is a new album and my review is based on that. The album contains 12 very different tracks whether you prefer acoustic blues or the heavier swaggering rock and roll, there is something for everyone.
Opening track, Mary The Gypsy, with its great bluesy rock riff overriding the whole sound sets the bar for others to follow. High Water, the following track contrasts considerably, it’s much more laid back at a grass roots level, and at times psychedelic, closing my eyes, I could imagine myself chillin’ at a music festival in the sun back in a bygone era of rock.
Sister Moon, lifted from the album as a single feature some particularly haunting guitar work, while not as ‘rocky’ as some of the tracks is a good representation of the album, Colour Blind, the next track is in a similar style musically and I loved the line “when will the world catch up with me’, the world is black and white.
Hand in Hand, with its ‘clapping and foot stompin’ feel, demonstrates how well the keys and the guitar work together in a typical blues pattern, while it isn’t, it’s similar to the ‘old 12 bar’ style that evolved from traditional blues.
This album encompasses so many different styles effectively, For the Wind, for example starts off quietly and then the heavier rock side explodes in, before switching back and forth, it became a very addictive listening , it’s a great bluesy rock sound that’s contrast so well against thatBlues roots sound.
But it’s not just the contrast between the two that’s too simplistic, throw in some honky tonk piano on Take It All, into the mix, some steel guitar work on Walk On Water, a track that had quite a country rock few to it, and I’m sure you can see the picture it’s an incredible showcase of how The Magpie Salute have evolved from their solo careers
Overall its a very versatile album that I enjoyed listening to, If I was pushed to name a favourite track, I loved the impact of the opening track, it really sets the mood for the album. High water I, has so much to offer, and I for one will be interested in the next offering High Water II when that’s released. But before we get carried away High Water I is out this Friday, August 10thon the Mascot/Provogue Label.
Don’t forget you can catch the band perform special acoustic sets on August 10th at: