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Magpie Salute - High Water II

  by Carl Bookstein

published: 27 / 11 / 2019

Magpie Salute - High Water II
Label: Provogue
Format: CD


Solid companion piece to 2018'S 'High Water I' from Black Crowes offshoot group, the Magpie Salute

The Magpie Salute's 'High Water II' begins where its predecessor 'High Water I' left off. Much of 'II' was written during the band’s early recordings at Dark Horse Studios in Nashville. “Both records are part of a collective journey,” says Rich Robinson, band leader, songwriter and guitarist for the Black Crowes. The latest album explores shades of darkness and light. Vocalist John Hogg co-wrote seven of this album’s songs with Robinson. Robinson’s fellow Black Crowes Marc Ford and Sven Pipien are still part of the Magpie Salute storyline. A melding of blues rock, country rock and hard rock; on 'High Water II' the Magpie Salute play with true grit. The opener 'Sooner or Later' begins with an entrancing drum beat and an intensity from the get go. That compelling Magpie Salute groove carries over from the first album. “Sooner or later I’ll make it back home again,” Hogg sings, “Sooner or later I’ll be back on my feet again.” There is a stinging guitar solo and it is a piercing vocal. The lyric “home again” repeats. 'Gimme Something” is more hard rocking intensity, with lyrics about the night sky and the hanging moon. “You got to take me higher/Deliver me now.” The vocal is gritty. The band here is a solid train of momentum. “I feel it’s going to be alright/Give me something to lift this cloud.” 'In Here' features a 'Harvest'-era Neil Young like country rock feel, with a fine lyric. “I held a candle to the sun and watched it go black.” “The wind in your hair is golden,” the vocal continues, “We stand alone in our creation, and lay it out for you.” “When I found you, you were sleepwalking” is the lyric on 'A Mirror': “A look in the mirror brings me back to your side.” 'Lost Boy' is among the album’s best numbers with a guest vocal and fiddle by Allison Krauss. It is a warm country tinged ballad. “I see you once again, much more than a friend/Lost boy let me tell you what you mean to me.” The closer 'Where Is This Place?' is another solid entrancing bluesy rocker. “Where is this place, so far from anything?” A rollicking piano line takes the album to its close. 'High Water II' is a fine companion to the first Magpie Salute album. Even if the new record does not quite rise to the heights of the debut, it comes pretty close.

Track Listing:-
1 Sooner Or Later
2 Gimme Something
3 Leave It All Behind
4 In Here
5 You And I
6 Mother Storm
7 A Mirror
8 Lost Boy
9 Turn It Around
10 Life Is A Landslide
11 Doesn't Really Matter
12 Where Is This Place

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High Water I (2018)
Excellent first album of original material from the Magpie Salute, which is the side project of Rich Robinson, Marc Ford and Sven Pipien from the Black Crowes

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