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A soaring salute to the Black Crowes

Magpie Salute
The Fox Theatre
Tucson, AZ
September 19, 2017
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Review and photos by Frances Sealy

Rich Robinson, one of the founding members of The Black Crowes, brought together former and current band members to honor the southern rock band. Even though the band didn't necessarily play the hits, it was still an evening of guitar deliciousness and vocal delights.

The super group consists of former Crowes guitarist Marc Ford and bassist Sven Pipien, new comer, John Hogg from Hookah Brown and Moke, taking on the bulk of the vocal work, keyboardist, Michael Bellar, drummer, Joe Magistro, guitarist Nico Bereciartua. The Magpie Salute has a fine cast of female vocalists, including former Crowes singer Charity White and background singers, Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen.

Robinson remarked during the show, "We got together very organically. We were on tour last year. Marc and Eddie came and jammed with us and then, we were like, 'Why don't you just stay?' These lovely ladies came and sang with us and then, we said 'why don't you just stay?' John came in and we asked him to stay. We didn't plan any of this. So, we decided it was fun. We loved doing it. We love playing music together. We decided to keep it going and see what would happen. So, here we are. This year is about getting the word out. It's hard to explain what it is. There are some old guys and some new guys, playing some old songs and some new songs. We are happy to be here and play this music."

The stage was filled with performers from one side to the other. It had a very relaxed vibe as Robinson invited the fans to come close to the stage for an intimate experience. The guitars blended seamlessly. There was a lot of guitar solo swapping during the evening. The hard working drummer, Magistro pounded the skins on every song and probably lost five pounds in two hours. John Hogg delivered emotive and soulful vocals throughout the night that kept the energy high. The fans were standing and dancing throughout the show. The only problem was the sound on the background vocalists needed to be enhanced.

The two-hour plus concert began with the Hookah Brown cover of "Omission" before sliding into one of the many Black Crowes covers of the night, "Another Roadside Tragedy." They performed a Free cover of "Muddy Water." This was over two hours of great music without an intermission. The sets are completely different every night on the tour and that's a good thing.
Set List:
1. Omission (Hookah Brown cover)
2. Another Roadside Tragedy (The Black Crowes cover)
3. (Only) Halfway to Everywhere (The Black Crowes cover)
4. Evil Eye
5. Shalimar Dreams (Marc Ford & The Neptune Blues Club cover)
6. Rude to Me (Hookah Brown cover)
7. Bye Bye Baby (Rich Robinson song)
8. Muddy Water (Free cover)
9. Dean (Terry Reid cover)
10. Feathers (The Black Crowes cover)
11. Nonfiction (The Black Crowes cover)
12. Sister Luck (The Black Crowes cover)
13. I'm Free (Marc Ford cover)
14. The Giving Key (Rich Robinson song)
15. Hitchcock Railway (Joe Cocker cover)
16. Title Song (The Black Crowes cover)
17. Bitter Bitter You (The Black Crowes cover)
18. Been a Long Time (Waiting On Love)
(The Black Crowes cover)
19. By Your Side (The Black Crowes cover)
20. No Speak No Slave (The Black Crowes cover)

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