Reunited Black Crowes members bring the intoxicating The Magpie Salute to Charm City for an evening of intense, yet intricate music

The Magpie Salute, who have been touring relentlessly during 2017, mesmerized the fans on a chilly Friday evening in Baltimore.  Although the ticket sales seemed light for this show, the excitement of the crowd more than made up for any question as to the loyalty to the band and their music by its fans.

Founding Black Crowes member Rich Robinson, former Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford, and bassist Sven Pipien help lead and guide this round-up of talented musicians throughout their performance that included an extensive catalog of music.  The stage was jam-packed with players, weaving their brand of southern and blues-influenced rock to an inspired and captivated audience.  Drummer Joe Magistro, guitarist Nico Bereciartua, and keyboardist Nick Rosen were joined by singer John Hogg.  Background vocals were provided by the lovely Charity White, Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen.

The Magpie Salute held nothing back in Baltimore tonight as the band drove home over two hours of solid music, topping off a 21 song setlist.  Talking with some of the listeners at the show suggested many of them were Rich Robinson fans. It’s easy to understand the faithful following Robinson has created, he has been a proven and solid guitar player who has provided some excellent playing and songwriting over the years.

Marc Ford has been entrenched in blues-rock music for many years, spending about nine years with the Crowes as well as compiling several of his own recordings.  Highlighting some of his solo work, The Magpie Salute put their spin on two of his songs including, “The Vulture” and “Call Me Faithful.” Ford was very involved with the music this evening, taking on many of the solos, and working hand-in-hand with Robinson and Bereciartua as the guitarists blended their chops quite well together.  

These guys seem to have great chemistry, which is very important when you have three guitarists on stage.  Not many groups can pull off a three-guitar attack, but the relationship on stage with these fellas helps reaffirm that, when braided together at the right moment with the right finesse, they can create a dynamic sound that infiltrated the ears of the audience in a gripping and tantalizing way.  Lead singer Hogg easily fits well within this group of musicians, he has an outstanding voice that can rival the vocal ranges of many great southern and blues rock singers.

The band has been playing some interesting covers on this tour, and tonight was no exception.  “This is a beautiful song” is how Robinson led into Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed.”  At the beginning of one song, Robinson had a guitar that wasn’t tuned correctly for that number.  He called upon his guitar tech, Doug, who after a short delay was able to provide him with another six-string to finish the song.  Robinson gave praise to Doug, and kept reaffirming his role with the band.  No seasoned guitar player comes without a good guitar tech, and this Friday spontaneously became “Hug Doug Day” as he brought his tech onstage for a hug. 

This veteran group was able to change the music tempo all evening long, from the hard rock “Omission” which is featured on their live release The Magpie Salute, to the psychedelic cover of krautrock band Agitation Frees “Laila, Part 2”, and then winding up the show with Crowes covers “Good Friday,” “Hotel Illness,” and “Soul Singing.”

All in all, the crowd was responsive all night long, definitely fueling the band with the gasoline they needed to keep delivering their brand of Magpie Salute-n-Roll music to their elated fans.  Delving into a deep vault of songs, the band has been very diverse with their musical choices from show to show, creating setlists which are creatively unique enabling the fans to see a variety of new and classic live music.  

Be on the lookout for new music to be released by The Magpie Salute in 2018. If it is anything close to what this band is currently producing, expect to be musically fulfilled and ready for more from this soulful touring outfit.

The Magpie Salute
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Event Date: 10-NOV-2017

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