Well, here is a new project from the former Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson. On this very project he has teamed up with his former band mates from Black Crowes, Marc Ford (guitar) and Sven Pipien (bass). On vocal is John Hogg who played with Rich Robinson in a former project called Hookah Brown, and keyboard player Matt Siocum and drummer Joe Magistro has been taken from his touring band. Even if Rich Robinson and his brother Chris Robinson is not on speaking terms, which meens he is not on this album, you have to admit, this is a very impressive and interesting line up.
No matter how you try to keep an open mind about this project, it´s extremely hard not to make comparisons with the Black Crowes. This meens the expectation are extremely high for The Magpie salute. It is hard for me not to compare to the other Black Crowes albums, which of course is not very fair by any means, but when I listened to the album, it became more and more clear to me that I just couldn´t be unbiased on this part. (Sorry about that.)
The sound and vibe of the album is alot like the Black Crowes. It feels like you are in a smoky bar at the dark side of town, drinking whiskey. The music is part southern rock, spiced up with a large pinch of both blues an psychadelia.
The first two tracks made me a bit worried that John Hoggs voice was a bit to brittle compared to Chris Robinson, which it is by the way, but when he puts his mind to it Hogg has quite a bit of edge in his voice. Even mr Hogg has been drinking whiskey and had barbed wire for breakfast, so the songs work out for sure. The band is at their best when they do these loose Led Zeppelin kind of riffs, like in the songs ‘High water’ and ‘For the wind’.
Even the songs that aren´t good, becomes good, like the song ‘Colorblind’ when the lyrics become the star here and the text speaks volumes of his upbringing in London with an african mother and a swedish father. It doesn´t matter that the song in itself isn´t that great. The lyrics is so moving that it takes over the song itself.
‘High water I’ is actually, to a large extent, a superb album with its bluesy zeppelinesqe riff based hardrock. The problem I have with this album is it´s uneveness. The good songs are great but with that said, there are some fillers that are not that great. Is it living up to Black Crowes standards? Well, both yes and no. It does not live up to the first two Black Crowes albums, but it most certainly hold its ground against the albums Black Crowes released after the two first ones.Those of you who love this album are in for a treat – The Magpie Salute will release a sequal album called ‘High Water II’ in 2019.
Band: The Magpie Salute
Titel: High Water I
Stand out song: For The Wind