Words & Photos by Rod Snyder

The Magpie Salute stopped by the Theatre of Living Arts (TLA) to play one of the final shows of their current tour. Rich Robinson’s current project includes Marc Ford and Sven Pipien (formerly of the Black Crowes), and Joe Magistro from his solo work. It also reunites John Hogg from Robinson’s first solo band Hookah Brown, on lead vocals. The band is rounded out by guitarist Nico Bereciatra, keyboardist Nick Rosen and the lovely back up ladies Charity White, Adrien Reju & Katrine Ottosen.

The band has released an album of live covers from various bands, and has yet to release new material, but that is not slowing them down. For their live shows, they play entirely different sets each night, mostly consisting of Black Crowes material, but also some solo work of Robinson’s bands, as well as Marc Ford’s. And don’t forget the covers of other bands, too numerous to mention. One of the treats for the diehard Black Crowes fans that are flocking to see these shows, is that Rich has decided to play unreleased material from “The Taller Sessions” material that was scrapped, for various reasons, but was very rarely played live. The Amorica record is what came out instead.  

The band started off with my favorite Black Crowes opener, “No Speak, No Slave”, and that set the tone for the night. The rest of the show that followed, filled a gap inside me that had been missing since 8/12/06, the last time that The Black Crowes performed with Marc Ford. Rich and Marc are one of the great guitar duos’s ever – they bring out the best in each other. It’s the classic Black Crowes sound.

John Hogg on vocals fills the lead vocals nicely. He isn’t Chris Robinson, but he’s not trying to be. For me personally, I’d take the music over the vocals in this instance.  

In the end, I hope this band can continue to play balls to the wall Rock n’ Roll and I look forward to any future releases from the Magpie. The band wraps up its tour next week in Atlantic City at the Borgata Hotel & Casino. Stay tuned for a full wrap up.

No speak no slave
Go faster
Tied up & swallowed
Every picture tells a story
Comin’ home
Shalimar dreams
Standing on the surface of the sun
Spider in the sugarbowl blues
Cursed diamond
Shine along
Girl from the North Country
Deep water
The giving key
Another roadside tragedy
Girl from a  pawnshop
Thorn’s progress->Thorn in my pride


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