Album Reviews

The Magpie Salute – High Water 1 Review

Released by: Mascot Label

Release date: 10 August 2018

Genre: Blues Rock, Southern Rock, Hard Rock

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Rich Robinson – guitar, vocals

Marc Ford – guitar, vocals

John Hogg – vocals

Joe Magistro – drums, percussion

Sven Pipien – bass, vocals

Matt Slocum – keyboards

Additional Musicians

Byron House – stand-up bass

Dan Wistrom – pedal steel


Track Listing:

01. Mary The Gypsy
02. High Water
03. Send Me An Omen
04. For The Wind
05. Sister Moon
06. Color Blind
07. Take It All
08. Walk On Water
09. Hand In Hand
10. You Found Me
11. Can You See
12. Open Up


The Magpie Salute have already given us enough taste of their creativity to hunger for more with their previous offering The Magpie Salute (Live) which was recorded in front of an invited studio audience.

The Magpies do not shy away from the fact that Rich, Marc and Sven were originally in the Black Crowes, but the combination of creativity from so many musical (vocalist John Hogg was in Hookah Brown with Robinson and keyboardist Matt Slocum and drummer Joe Magistro both joined him for solo records and tours over the years) and cultural backgrounds of the band, bring something deliciously evocative of the past, yet combined with a hint of the contemporary.

With ‘Mary The Gypsy’ this album kick starts with a Crowes like groove, perfect opener to an interesting album…..a driving its way through a call to action chant against the corporate bullshit stripping away creativity. Loving the abrupt end too.

The varied genres on offer begin to become apparent with the title track ‘High Water’ which has the San Francisco, guitar strumming, hippy feel of Ashbury Heights in 1967. Dreamy, melodic and quite honestly just perfect for your very own summer of love….my favourite track by far.

Throughout the listening experience of this album, the superb harmonisations become very clear, especially with ‘Send Me An Omen’ which brings screaming vocals in perfect symmetry with the deep rock blues sound and the harmonies throughout the track.  Whilst ‘For The Wind’ combines a beautiful guitar intro and mashes it straight into a heavy, stonking chorus of uplifting beats and superb guitar and drum grooves.

Next we enter into a more soulful phase with ‘Sister Moon’ demonstrating the influence of old blues, with an almost Nina Simone feel to it and jazz piano ever present through the back bone of this track. ‘Color Blind’ too is soulful and easy on the ear with the keyboards and vocals bringing anti- racism issues to the fore in a relaxed way, but almost more forceful because of this.

‘Take It All’ has that gorgeous honky-tonk, sawdust on the floor of a bar, swagger to it, which I always love. ‘Walk On Water’ …southern guitar and harmonies bring a this track to life in the only way Rich Robinson knows how.  ‘Hand In Hand’, with its bluegrass roots, is a great ditty and perfectly balance and deceiving in the fact it sounds so effortlessly played.

‘You Found Me’ is an effect a country track which has an abundant sadness about it …. simply lovely, I could listen to this all day!  Again one of my favourite tracks.

‘Can You See’ & ‘Open Up’ bring ‘High Water 1’ to the perfect southern blues and rock ending.  ‘High Water 2’ will be released in 2019 and I for one cannot wait to hear what more these chaps have to offer.

Wonderfully evocative and beautifully constructed, this album is a creative collection from a band that you can hear without doubt just love to write and play their music together in harmony.


Written by: Francijn Suermondt

Ratings: 9/10

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