Rich Robinson Forms The Magpie Salute With Fellow Black Crowes Alumni

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Co-founding Black Crowes member Rich Robinson has announced the formation of a new band dubbed The Magpie Salute. The group features four members of The Black Crowes as Rich is joined by guitarist/vocalist Marc Ford, keyboardist Eddie Harsch and bassist Sven Pipien. Rich Robinson Band drummer Joe Magistro and keyboardist Matt Slocum round out the lineup along with backing vocalists Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen.

The Magpie Salute will make their live debut at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City on January 19. Look for the band to perform songs from The Black Crowes catalog, solo material from Rich and Marc plus “whatever else may materialize,” according to Robinson. “New York has always been really supportive of me and the Crowes. I thought it would be a great place to unveil this,” Rich said of the decision to premiere the group in NYC.

“The name The Magpie Salute comes from a superstition based in the UK,” Rich explained 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.”

Rich talked about the decision to feature multiple players and singers within The Magpie Salute, “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. Not only on our own, in The Crowes and in my band, but playing music in general. 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 idea for The Magpie Salute came to Rich this past August, 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 traveled 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,” Rich revealed.“The playing was an amazing second to seeing their faces,” Marc added.

Tickets for the first Magpie Salute show go on sale this Friday, October 21. Watch a trailer: