Black Crowes Spinoff Magpie Salute New Videoby Best Classic Bands Staff
Update (Jan. 6): The Magpie Salute has partnered with Yahoo! Music to premiere their performance video of “Comin’ Home” that begins with a tribute to the late keyboardist Eddie Harsch, who passed away November 4. Harsch was set to perform with the band during its upcoming four-night, sold-out engagement later this month at the Gramercy in New York (January 19, 20, 21, 22). The video was filmed in Woodstock, N.Y., in August 2016 and features Eddie talking, rehearsing and subsequently performing the classic “Comin’ Home”–popularized by Delaney and Bonnie with Eric Clapton in the ’70s–with the Magpie Salute. Watch the video here.
Here’s our original item on The Magpie Salute and a November update…
Update (November 4): Keyboardist Eddie Harsch, scheduled to participate in the Magpie Salute (described below), died on November 4 of an unknown cause. The band said in a statement that the tour will go on as planned. Read BCB’s obituary of Eddie Harsch here.
Don’t feel left out if you haven’t heard of the The Magpie Salute. That’s only because they’re a brand new band. But you’ve almost definitely heard of the other band these guys have spent some time with: classic rockers The Black Crowes.
The Magpie Salute features that band’s singer-songwriter-guitarist, Rich Robinson, guitarist Marc Ford, keyboardist Eddie Harsch and bassist Sven Pipien, plus members of Robinson’s own band—drummer Joe Magistro, keyboardist Matt Slocum and backing vocalists Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen—and others.
The Magpie Salute will debut on January 19 when they headline the first of four sold-out shows at Gramercy Theatre in New York, performing songs from the Black Crowes’ catalog, solo material from Robinson and Ford, plus “whatever else may materialize,” says Robinson.
“The name The Magpie Salute comes from a superstition based in the U.K.,” explains Robinson about the band’s moniker. “There are many variations, but the version I’m drawn to is the belief that if you see a magpie, you would do well to salute it “to ward off negativity, or to have a good day.” The way you salute the magpie, based on some traditions is to say, ‘Good mornin’, Captain.’ The reason we salute is to show we’re unarmed, or what I like to say is, ‘We come in peace.’ The magpie falls within the Crowe umbrella of species, figuratively and literally. Magpies can be black and white, which represents the light and the dark. I figured all of these things touch on many aspects of my life and this experience.”
Asked about the Magpie Salute’s multiple players and singers, Robinson says, “I wanted to try something different. I wanted to hear this music with two drummers, two keyboard players and multiple singers. I, and everyone involved, love playing music. We want to make music again together with a fresh perspective. To present this music I wrote in a different light with these amazing players is going to be really special to me.”
The Magpie Salute marks the reunion of the Robinson and Ford guitar team. (Ford left the Black Crowes after their fourth album and the 1997 Further Festival tour.) “The Crowes have had their share of guitar players,” says Robinson. “Each one has been really cool to play with and each one has brought their own unique playing to the band. That being said, I personally feel that Marc and I have a very deep musical connection. The way he and I played together on those records really showcases that musical bond. As I get older I realize what a gift it is to play with people with whom you share that language of music.” Reflecting about their deep musical connection, Marc says: “It’s one of those things that was there before we met. Musically we were already family.”
The seeds were planted for the Magpie Salute in August 2016 when Robinson performed in Woodstock, New York), at Applehead Studio, where he’s recorded his last three albums. “Sven Pipien has been playing with me on my current tour. So for fun I decided to invite Marc and Eddie from the original Crowes lineup to join us. It turned out to be such a cool, cathartic and inspirational experience for us all. We all have such a strong musical connection from that band. Most importantly we all have a life’s worth of family experience together. We’ve travelled the world together, seen a lot of far out experiences, playing with our heroes, emotional ups and downs, all wrapped within a very unique life experience, which is the thread that has always kept the connection together.”
The Magpie Salute chose New York for their first show because, says Robinson, “New York has always been really supportive of me and the Crowes. I thought it would be a great place to unveil this.”
Watch The Magpie Salute’s “trailer”
The Magpie Salute 2017 Tour Dates
January 19 – Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
January 20 – Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
January 21 – Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
January 22 – Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY