Words & Photos by Rod Snyder

The Magpie Salute wrapped up their 2017 touring year at the Borgata’s Music Box venue in Atlantic City. This run included 77 dates, that started with their inaugural shows in January at the Gramercy Theater, went to Europe, then back to the U.S. again. The band will take the rest of the year off and regroup in February, with plans to start recording what Rich Robinson is saying will be a double album worth of material. The Spring/Summer would be the possible release date, with a tour to follow up. So stay tuned.

The show last night had everyone in good spirits, band and fans alike. The set started off with the Black Crowes rocker “Twice As Hard”, into “By Your Side”, then “Been A Long Time (Waiting On Love)” from their Before The Frost album. Up next was “Omission”, originally a Hookah Brown tune with John Hogg on vocals. Its current version has been reworked to it make it a Magpie Salute song, and while the riff in this song is badass enough, when you add Marc Ford and Nico Bereciartua, this song suddenly has another level.

A pair of solo tunes from Marc and Rich were next, then Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed”. This band can play anything and make it sound great. John Hogg’s vocals stood out on this one. Further into the set, they played another track off their only release thus far, Magpie Salute Live, “War Drums”. Originally done by War, the band goes to town on this live. I remember watching Rich play and thinking “damn, he makes it look so easy”, but the sounds that were emulating from his guitar were obscene. This was the highlight of the night for me.

A pair of die-hard fan classics were next up, “Another Roadside Tragedy” and “Tied Up & Swallowed”. “Roadside” features a fine jam in the middle that features Marc and Rich: it starts off slowly, then builds into a ball of energy that has to be released, before ending back in the chorus of the song. “Hotel Illness”, from their classic Southern Harmony & Musical Companion, was the last song of the main set.

Afterwards, Rich told the crowd that it was time for the encore, but didn’t leave the stage, as they have done in previous gigs. Rich took this time to thank everyone for coming out and supporting the band all year. He told of the plans to record next year and to tour in support of the release. He thanked the crew and the diehard fans in the front that have followed them around from city to city. After all the thanks, the evening came to a close with “Jealous Again”.

In the end, I am thankful that Rich was able to get the people in this band together and make it work. I, as well as many a fan, are clearly happy to have Marc “MFF” Ford, back in the fold. Rich, Marc and Sven Pipien on bass, ARE the sound of the Black Crowes. I eagerly await the release of Magpie Salute’s sophomore effort.


Twice as hard
By your side
Been a long time (waiting on love)
Devil’s in the details
Bye bye baby
Don’t say you love me
Maybe I’m amazed
What is home
Sister luck
Ain’t no more cane on the Brazos
War drums
Idle time
The upstairs land
Another roadside tragedy
Tied up & swallowed
Hotel illness
Good morning captain
Jealous again


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