I've been looking forwards to The Magpie Salute's debut studio album, High Water I, since hearing a song a while ago: first attracted by the band's name (such an evocative image, a salute to magpies, those cheeky, beautiful, noisy and thieving birds... while there are black-and-white-and-sometimes-blue magpies around the world, did you know that the there is a special species of magpies with bright-yellow beaks unique to the Sacramento valley, California?), and then hearing the mix of finger-picking folk, southern rock, country, bluegrass, blues and hard rock... it all results in a unique, beautiful and timeless sound.
This is Send Me An Omen from High Water I:
The album is a beautiful and varied collection of songs, ranging from the modern-British-folky sound of Send Me An Omen, through the almost-pure bluegrass of Hand In Hand to the west-coast-USA sounds of the closing song, Open Up, whose harmonies would not sound out-of-place on a Jefferson Starship or Fleetwood Mac album.
One of my favourite tracks is this one, Sister Moon:
If you're a fan of the Black Crowes, you'll recognise several of The Magpie Salute's bandmembers: the band was formed in 2016 by former Black Crowes guitarist, Rich Robinson, and also includes Marc Ford and Sven Pipien together with Rich Robinson band members Matt Slocum and Joe Magistro.
The Magpie Salute are currently touring and will be appearing around the USA over the next couple of months, including a festival date at Louisville, Kentucky's Bourbon and Beyond... and this morning I was notified of a show here in the UK, at the Waterfront in Norwich, on December 9th (tickets go on sale this coming Friday). To see all the tour dates, including many newly-announced dates in Europe and the UK, check out the band's Facebook tour page. You won't want to miss this!
("Good morning, Mr. Magpie. Give my regards to your wife and children", I learned to say, as a child growing up in England. I still think the greeting in my head, when I see a magpie today. Sometimes you might catch me saying it out loud. That's a magpie salute!)