October 15, 2019 The Magpie Salute – High Water II (Album Review)
Formed back in 2016 after an impromptu jam up in Woodstock, New York, The Magpie Salute has been turning on crowds for the last 3 years with their infectious brand of Southern Rock-n-Roll. Led by Guitarist/Singer-Songwriter Rich Robinson, it certainly helps to have top class musicians such as his former Black Crowes bandmates Marc Ford (guitar) and Sven Pipien (bass), along with Vocalist John Hogg, Drummer Joe Magistro, and Keyboardist Matt Slocum rounding out the lineup. Embodying what Rock-n-Roll always has been and should be about – great vocals, riffs, bass lines and thunderous drums – with their classic yet new sound, The Magpie Salute return with their latest album, High Water II.
Set for release on Friday, October 18th via Eagle Rock Entertainment, High Water II was actually recorded simultaneously with 2018’s High Water I which served as a follow-up to their 2017 debut live album, The Magpie Salute. Consistently busy over the 3 years, their latest effort, produced by Robinson himself, comes at you with 12 new tracks. Starting off with “Sooner or Later,” it is complete with loud pulsating drums, a great riff, and superb harmonies that is bound to get any live crowd going right off the bat.
Moving forward, “Leave it all Behind” hark back to a ’70s Classic Rock sound with its great vocals, melancholy lyrics, and guitar riffs that some might even say are heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin. Furthermore, the album’s lead single “You and I” offers some Country Blues influenced riffs that make for a great Southern Rock love song with crunchy guitars and straight-forward lyrics matched with a nice deep end bass line.
Later on down the line, “Lost Boy” is a wonderful piece co-written by Robinson and Ford that also features Ford on lead vocals. A delightful surprise, it is very reminiscent of Ford’s solo work with catchy guitar chords, melodies and deep introspective lyrics, making for a great introspective driving tune. Thereafter, “Turn it Around” has Rich Robinson written all over it with its wailing guitars and distinct wah-wah sound he has become known for. That matched with intense drums, great solos, awesome lyrics and vocals, it is yet another bold moment on the album. Which leads us to the finale of “Where is this Place,” a song laden with dirty guitar, swampy drum and bass groove that is simple Southern Rock at its best.
Overall, Southern Rock fans will certainly not be disappointed with The Magpie Salutes’ second serving of music. Additionally, The Black Crowes fans will not be let down just as much as Southern Rock fans and straight-ahead Rock fans all the same. If you are just learning about The Magpie Salutes, it is time you jump abroad the train! A solid album from start to finish with no filler, no nonsense, but just some fine Rock-n-Roll, Cryptic Rock gives High Water II 4 out of 5 stars.
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