The Magpie Salute Talk "Clarity" of Debut Album 'High Water I'

The Magpie Salute was never meant to be a one-off or a side project or an additional footnote on guitarist Rich Robinson's bio; it's a band in the truest, most classic sense of the term.

Formed in 2016 not long after the Black Crowes' most recent breakup, it's telling that Robinson didn't throw himself fully into his solo career. He released his Flux solo album in 2016 but pivoted quickly to establishing a new collective with new and old friends and collaborators.

The songs came quickly, and there was no shortage of positive chemistry on stage and in the studio. 

"We'd written some stuff on tour," Robinson tells Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke. "We had a 10-piece band last year, and it was a celebration, and that's how we approached it. We celebrated the music we'd all made together and made separately. Covers we always wanted to do...It was a lot of fun. It was a celebration; it was almost like a revue."

After touring on the success of the band's live album debut, The Magpie Salute arrived in Nashville to craft its first studio record. After completing a staggering 29 songs in 21 days, the band agreed it had a double album on its hands. The first half of that record, High Water I, arrives August 10. Robinson says the writing, in earnest, began on the road. 

"We started messing around at soundcheck and came up with some cool stuff," he recalls. "In January, we got together...[Robinson, guitarist Marc Ford and lead singer John Hogg] and my only suggestion was, 'Let's not take anything off the table. Just bring things — whatever you have — doesn't matter if it's old or brand new or a part or [incomplete].'"

So Robinson, Ford and Hogg combed through their ideas, and whittled down 35 potential songs to 29.

Ford, a two-time member of The Black Crowes himself, maintains The Magpie Salute is the best band he's ever been in. 

"I mean, there's six people who have been doing it for most of their lives, like with any craft, hopefully you get better," Ford says. "This natural thing that Rich and I have had is extended to each member of the band. There's a language that we're all speaking. There's a confidence and an ease that's going on, a clarity of purpose...There's a lot of life that we get to pull from — a lot of stuff that only we know, and I think it's all in the music."

Check out the full interview above, including the performance of Magpie Salute's new song, "High Water."

Get all The Magpie Salute's tour dates here

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Here's Magpie Salute's "Send Me An Omen" from the High Water I album:

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