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Interview:
Magpie Salute at Saint Andrews Hall, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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The Magpie Salute has had a lot to crow about since it first rolled out just two years ago.



The sextet -- formed by Black Crowes co-founder Rich Robinson and including several Crowes alumni -- has released a pair of albums, including last year's studio set "High Water I." And it's been getting the word out through hard touring, including a spot on Gov't Mule's Dark Side of the Mule dates last summer.



It's a tough job creating a new identity from a celebrated past, but the Magpie Salute is more than just winging it...



• Robinson, 49, says by phone that he's happy with how the group is developing so far. "I feel like it takes about a year to become like a band, to feel like it's everyone's there, all the time. I felt like we crossed that zone right when we got to Europe last year. It just felt like something was different when we got over there. It's like a comfort and it's a confidence that everyone has, that we all know why we're here."



• The guitarist has been pleased, too, that audiences have accepted the Magpie Salute as a new entity rather than holding it strictly to its Black Crowes pas. "I think that the people come out now...are really into the new songs and they like what we're doing and they like the band. I do feel like it's shifted a little bit. It's just kind of time, almost, for it to become pseudo-nostalgic. When 'High Water 2' comes out and we go out and tour, people will look back and see what we're playing now as kind of old songs, which will be really interesting."



• Speaking of "High Water 2," Robinson says the album is currently being mixed, with a summer release planned. "We felt like it would be a little bit more difficult for people to absorb 24 or 28 songs, which is why we divided it into different albums.’High Water 1' is our first stamp, kind of 'This is who we are.' I felt like it was a good way to bring people in and see the diversity of what we were able to do as a band and what these songs sounded like -- almost like a foreshadowing of what this band is capable of. And then the second record is going to bring a whole other depth to what I think we're capable of doing."



• The Magpie Salute has been stockpiling more new songs as well. "We actually went into the studio in Wales," Robinson reports, "because I had about another 10 songs. So we took about four days at the end of the tour and just recorded another five of those while we were there. That was really cool. And in the meantime, we're always writing."



• This year also marks the 25th anniversary of "Amorica," the Black Crowes' third studio album and one that's seen as a key release in the group's career. "I felt like it was a step," Robinson says. "We definitely reached into this other place and took our time with the recording of the record in particular, wanting to make it a sonic masterpiece or whatever. That's why we chose Jack (Joseph Puig) to produce it. But other than that we just kept doing what we do. We never really shied away from pushing the boundary and writing the songs that we wanted to write."



The Magpie Salute performs Friday, Jan. 25, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors at 7 p.m. $28-$43. 313-961-6358 or saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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