Title - 'High Water II' [2LP Vinyl]
Artist - The Magpie Salute
For those not in the know, The Magpie Salute is an American rock band formed in 2016 by former Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson.
The band also includes former Black Crowes members Marc Ford and Sven Pipien as well as Rich Robinson band members Matt Slocum and Joe Magistro.
When 'High Water I' was released in August 2018, it was the sound of old friends coming together in a union of rock 'n' roll, psychedelic blues, rasping Americana and late-night storytelling.
The band was pulled together by guitarist Rich Robinson and allowed him to continue a storyline he began in the Black Crowes with aforementioned guitarist Marc Ford and bassist Sven Pipien.
Meanwhile, vocalist John Hogg shared Hookah Brown with Robinson as keyboardist Matt Slocum and drummer Joe Magistro both joined him for solo records and tours over the years.
The just-released follow up, aptly entitled High Water II (Eagle Rock Entertainment) picks up where the band's studio debut left off with much of the album actually having been written during those early recordings at Dark Horse Studios in Nashville; which is why the album feels like a perfect continuation of its predecessor.
1. 'Sooner Or Later'
2. 'Gimme Something'
3. 'Leave It All Behind'
1. 'In Here'
2. 'You And I'
3. 'Mother Storm'
1. 'A Mirror'
2. 'Lost Boy'
3. 'Turn It Around'
1. 'Life Is A Landslide'
2. 'Doesn’t Really Matter'
3. 'Where Is This Place'
In truth, High Water II is a rather solid, if not stand alone studio album that melds various influences into a rocking set of tunes cut from the same cloth of those infamous former Crowes.
Furthermore, you instantly feel an updated dynamic of that on most all of the songs presented here, for me, at least, spread gloriously across two lovely vinyl albums (the only way to listen to music, my friends).
Having listened to it twice through now this afternoon, I can honestly say that the entire album has a lush, deeply rooted, and heartfelt Americana-blues-country flow to it that I personally adore.
A record that might well be a follow-up to the first one, this record still sounds so fresh, so exciting, and like an instant classic all at the same time.
As for the sounds and vocals brought forth, well, of course the overall versatility of this band goes without saying. Incorporating some full-throttle harmonies ('Leave It All Behind'), the tracks are all layered with some outstanding, cultured acoustic piano from Matt Slocum and the articulate, and never overly forceful drum work of Joe Magistr.
Lead singer, John Hogg has already fully distinguished himself with the band before this album came out, but here the ex-pat Brit really gets tot eh core of each lyric, of each verse, of every chorus ('Mother Storm') as if his life depended on it.
They also enlist Alison Krauss on fiddle and background vocals, on one of the album's stand out tracks, the lush 'Lost Boy,' whilst Matt Holland supplies the horn on 'In Here.'
With all this and more embraced by within the loving, and all-knowing electric guitars of Robinson and Marc Ford, that render most all tracks they lean into readily "identifiable," add in the earnest while Sven Pipien's bass, and the musical casserole of American roots rock 'n' roll is ready to be served.
The Magpie Salute @ Facebook