Nov 10, 2017

The Magpie Salute - Rams Head Live

Category: Live Reviews




Baltimore, Maryland

Rams Head Live

 The Magpie Salute Set List:  Black Moon Creepin’, Evil Eye, Walk Believer Walk, Omission, The Vulture, I Remember, Maybe I’m Amazed, Black Coffee, Welcome To The Good Times, How Much For Your Wings, Non Fiction, Call Me Faithful, Agitation Free, Glad and Sorry, Yesterday I Saw, Good Friday, Don’t Wake Me, There Grows a Rose, Hotel Illness, Soul Singing

 Formed in October of 2016 The Magpie Salute are an offshoot of The Black Crowes which features 3 members of the defunct band; Rich Robinson, Marc Ford, and Sven Pipien.

 Lead vocalist John Hogg summons the essence of Chris Robinson with his live performance.  Posing, Strutting, Prancing, and Pouting while exuding Southern Vibrance and Charm, Mr. Hogg is a soulful blues rocker with a voice that is equal parts Motown and Rock N Roll.

 Rich Robinson addressed the small but adoring crowd at various points throughout the show with witty/sarcastic banter that offered comedic interludes to the serious, jam based music that the band performed.

 Lead guitarist Marc Ford had a few technical issues which led to him eventually walking off stage mid song.  Ford’s guitar tech addressed the matter while Ford stood over him like an angry father.  Marc is a fiery player but comes off as arrogant and abrasive onstage.  

 Bassist Sven Pipien is the silent “rock” which holds the rhythm together yet goes unnoticed simply because he chooses to stay in the back and just play as opposed to being a “rock star”.

 Drummer Joe Magistro looks like the long lost cousin of Tommy Aldridge with his monster afro and 70’s era looks.  The man lays down a solid beat and changes his rhythms to interact with the jams that Robinsons and Ford lay down.

 Nico B. is the bands 3rd guitarist and his role in the band is lost at times due in part to Robinson and Ford overshadowing his presence.  Nico performs mostly rhythm guitar parts with occasional lead moments when Ford and Robinson drift into alternating parts.

 This show was billed as “An Evening with The Magpie Salute” and had no opening act.  The Magpie Salute took the stage around 8:15 PM and performed until a little after 10:30 PM.  

 Rich Robinson commented that during the last 4 songs of the night he felt like the band had turned a corner in the set and the overall vibe had changed…he sarcastically thanked the crowd for being so enthusiastic on a Friday Night; the joke was made because most of the crowd was deadpan and showed very little concern or emotion towards the band.  There was an odd Hippie vibe throughout the crowd and the only true response the audience offered was random hippie girl dancing by a few random girls in the crowd.

 “Black Moon Creepin” by the Black Crowes opened the show and “Soul Singing” by The Black Crowes closed the show.  “Good Friday” by The Black Crowes was one of the absolute highlights of the set and featured Marc Ford on steel guitar.

 “Maybe I’m Amazed” by The Beatles was a pleasant surprise in the set and John’s voice sounded amazing on this number.  One interesting sidenote is that at any given time there were 10-11 people onstage performing which gave The Magpie Salute a huge sound/feel.

Rich Robinson brought an impressive guitar collection for this show.  Every song featured a different guitar and among his arsenal were vintage Strats, Telecasters, Gibsons, a 12 string Danelectro, and a white Gretch.

Author: Bob Suehs