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The Magpie Salute @ Fonda Theatre 9/13/17. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
The Magpie Salute @ Fonda Theatre 9/13/17. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

Hollywood, CA- In 2016, Rich Robinson, former guitarist and co-founder of The Black Crowes, was asked to perform and record for the Woodstock Sessions project. He used that opportunity to bring back together his Black Crowes bandmates Marc Ford (guitar), Sven Pipien (bass), and Eddie Harsch (keys), and when that project had concluded, they all decided to keep playing as a collective. The untimely passing of Eddie Harsh motivated Rich to seek additional players to join the group and he was able to aggregate a variety of talented players: drummer Joe Magistro, guitarist Nico Bereciartua, lead vocalists John Hogg and Charity White, and background singers Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen to fill out the lineup.  The collective was named The Magpie Salute: a clever tribute Rich, Marc and Sven’s former band and rooted in a British superstition that “if you see a Magpie, you would do well to salute it ‘to ward off negativity” and earlier this year released their debut album and hit the road touring in support of it.

Don’t sleep on The Magpie Salute. If you love southern rock, you’ll love this band. If you love blues rock, you’ll love this band. If you love rock & roll, you’ll love this band. Rock & roll is alive and well, and it lives with The Magpie Salute.

The Magpie Salute @ Fonda Theatre 9/13/17. Setlist.From the beautifully executed guitar play between Robinson and Ford, to the unrivaled wailings of the charismatic Hogg, to their deference towards the classics and their confident stylings of the modern, to the trio of powerful female  background vocalist who fill out and complete their sound, there live performance is a musical spectacle that’s quite breathtaking to behold.

While one may have a preconceived unwarranted notion that this band was simply “The Black Crowes Volume 2”, they will surely leave the venue thinking otherwise after listening to the heavy rocking live sound that this 10 piece band is capable of. While their set consisted solely of covers, their execution of each composition imbued upon it a fresh and inspired perspective. As cliché as it may sound, they truly made each song their own. Let me just put it this way … I absolutely love The Black Crowes recording of “Midnight From The Inside Out”, but after hearing The Magpie Salute cover that song live with Hogg belting lead and the background trio wailing the hook … as faithful as it was to the original … I don’t want to hear it performed any other way. It was grander. It was louder. It was heavier. It was better.

Similarly, I was particularly impressed with their cover of Humble Pie’s “30 Days In The Hole”. I have that Humble Pie album (“Smokin” … and on vinyl no less), but I was never a fan of song. I wasn’t a fan of that song until I heard The Magpie Salute perform it. It was grander. It was louder. It was heavier. It was better.

Do yourself a favor and make sure you check this band out if they ever drop in your neck of the woods. It would probably do you good if you also salute them while you’re at it. You don’t want these bird flying away.

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