Rich Robinson may not feel strongly that the Black Crowes will ever perform again with his brother and singer Chris Robinson, but that hasn't stopped him and some Crowes alumni from playing the group's music live onstage.
Today, the guitarist announced the new band the Magpie Salute, a collaboration with former Black Crowes players Marc Ford (guitar), Sven Pipien (bass) and Eddie Harsch (keyboards). Members of Robinson's band – keyboardist Matt Slocum, drummer Joe Magistro and backing vocalists Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen – round out the project.
Together, the Magpie Salute – a nod to the crow family of birds – will perform their first live gig on January 19th at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City. According to a release, the band will play songs by the Black Crowes, along with solo material by Robinson and Ford (Ford released his solo album The Vulture last week).
Robinson told Rolling Stone Country recently that he's been playing regularly with the Crowes, minus brother Chris.
"I just did three shows up in Woodstock, with me and Marc Ford and Ed Harsch and Sven from the Crowes," he says. "They came and joined my band and we did a whole bunch of songs together."
The guitarist, who released his solo album Flux in June, is keenly aware of the longstanding appeal of the Black Crowes, a band that turned on fans with a decidedly Sixties and Seventies sound.
"I wanted to write a song as good as 'Brown Sugar' or as good as 'Visions of Johanna.' I wasn't interested in what was popular. It's not like I was like, 'Man, if I could just write a song like Slaughter or whatever that 'Cherry Pie' band was,'" Robinson says of composing the Black Crowes soulful 1990 debut, Shake Your Money Maker. "The way I see it, and the way we saw it growing up, these [iconic Sixties] bands weren't corrupted. You couldn't make a living at that shit the way you can now. They were just doing it, and they wrote the rules. It was a much freer form of expression."
Tickets for the Magpie Salute's New York City show go on sale October 19th via a presale, followed by a public on-sale October 21st.