GOhome EVENTScalendar GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore SOUNDcheck


Local bands
Get band listed

 

 
  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

 
  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

 

 

Concert Reviews:
Magpie Salute plays hot on a cold night at Saint Andrews Hall
 

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

» See more SOUND CHECK

DETROIT -- The Magpie Salute met Michigan winter -- which group leader Rich Robinson dubbed "the cold vortex" -- on Friday night, Jan. 25, at Saint Andrews Hall.



The group's previous two visits to the metro area were both during the summer, and much has changed since that first July 2017 stop, also at Saint Andrews. It's a smaller and leaner band now, a sextet rather than a 10-piece. And it's also no longer just a reboot of the Black Crowes, which Robinson also co-founded and which guitarist Marc Ford and bassist Sven Pipien also played in. Thanks to last year's "High Water I" album the Magpie Salute has more of its own identity and plenty of its own material -- eight songs that were part of Friday's dynamic 18-song, two-hour show.



But rest assured that, vortex aside, the group is still a hot prospect.



There's no denying where the Magpie Salute comes from, and Robinson and company don't try to -- especially sonically, where it continues to mine the same synthesis of classic rock, blues and R&B with a seamless acumen. Robinson and Ford in particular are a guitar tandem steeped in rich traditions, more Allman Brothers Band, say, than Rolling Stones, as their interplay is instinctive and weaves smoothly between complement and counterpoint.



Friday's show also served up an insightful helping of the Magpie Salute's root. The group tore through an epic treatment of the Allmans' "Dreams" -- one of many songs showcasing British-born singer John Hogg's powerful pipes -- and took on Pink Floyd's "Fearless" and a Robinson-sung version of the Velvet Underground's "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'" that, in its choruses, amped-up the implied Southern gospel flavor of the original. A mid-show acoustic set -- a bit noisy despite Robinson's joking admonishment that Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page would have made a guest appearance had the crowd stayed quiet -- included Manassas' gentle "So Many Times," with Hogg and Robinson singing together on a single center-stage mic. And though no Page, the group treated Led Zeppelin's "Your Time is Gonna Come" with reverent exuberance.



The Magpie Salute's own material more than held up alongside its forebears, particularly the swampy "High Water," which opened the show, the riffy "Mary the Gypsy," the grooving "Send Me an Omen" and the "Color Blind," which built from a gentle start into a swelling fusillade. And the Crowes material -- save for "Nonfiction," which transitioned from the acoustic set back into the electric show -- came towards the end, with fans singing along to the deeper catalog selections "Another Roadside Tragedy," "Gone" and "Sometimes Salvation."



It was a case study in rock band done right, live and in-the-moment musicianship that sounded as relevant and even fresh on a frigid night in 2019 as it would have 50 or more years ago. If there really is a contemporary rock 'n' roll renaissance bubbling under the current scene, the younger acts could certainly take some leads from what the Magpie Salute does so well.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
http://www.goanddomichigan.com
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.

© Copyright MediaNews Group, Inc. | Our Publications | About Our Ads | Privacy Policy/Terms of Service | Cookie Policy