Rich Robinson on Monday announced the formation of The Magpie Salute, which will reunite Robinson (guitar/vocals) with former Black Crowes Marc Ford (guitar), keyboardist Eddie Harsch and bassist Sven Pipien. Also featured in the new group are Joe Magistro, keyboardist Matt Slocum and backing vocalists Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen, all from Robinson’s own band, “along with some other friends.”
The Magpie Salute will make its debut on Thursday, Jan. 19 at the Gramercy Theatre (127 E. 23rd St.). According to a press release, the band will play Black Crowes tunes, solo material from Robinson and Ford’s careers, and “whatever else may materialize,” Robinson says. Pre-sale tickets will be available on Oct. 19, and general on-sale starts on Oct. 21.
“The name The Magpie Salute comes from a superstition based in the UK,” Robinson said. “There are many variations, but the version I’m drawn to is the belief that if you see a Magpie, you would do well to salute it ‘to ward off negativity, or to have a good day.’ The way you salute the Magpie, based on some traditions is to say ‘Good Mornin’ Captain.’ The reason we salute is to show we’re unarmed, or what I like to say is ‘we come in peace.’ The Magpie falls within the Crowe umbrella of species, figuratively and literally. Magpies can be black and white which represents the light and the dark. I figured all of these things touch on many aspects of my life and this experience.”
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Ford last played with The Black Crowes in 1997; he left the band after their fourth album, “Three Snakes and One Charm,” and their headline slot on the 1997 Furthur Festival. “It’s one of those things that was there before we met. Musically we were already family,” Ford said of his chemistry with Robinson.
The Magpie Salute has grown from Robinson’s August performance in Woodstock, N.Y., at Applehead Studio.
“Sven Pipien has been playing with me on my current tour,” Robinson says. “So for fun I decided to invite Marc and Eddie from the original Crowes lineup to join us. It turned out to be such a cool, cathartic, and inspirational experience for us all. We all have such a strong musical connection from that band. Most importantly we all have a life’s worth of family experience together. We’ve traveled the world together, seen a lot of far out experiences, playing with our heroes, emotional ups and downs, all wrapped within a very unique life experience, which is the thread that has always kept the connection together.”