Since 2015, The Black Crowes, the band that guitarist Rich Robinson founded in the mid-1980s as a singer with his brother Chris, two and a half years his senior, and which became one of the most important rock acts in the USA in the 1990s, have been history. While his brother with the band Brotherhood (new album: "Barefoot In The Head"; see reviews in this issue) became a big hit at some Jamrock festivals, especially in the States, Rich got into a bad way with his solo band and solo albums (the last one was "Flux", 2016). But now the 48-year-old is getting reinforcements from the Black Crowes past and is seriously taking off with The Magpie Salute.
eclipsed: In the big-band-like line-up of Magpie Salute two names stand out besides some old acquaintances from various solo bands and projects. Bassist Sven Pipien and guitarist Marc Ford. You played both of them in the Black Crowes. How conscious did you make the decision to want her back?
Rich Robinson: Marc and I were the best guitar team on the crowes in my opinion. But I haven't had contact with him in ten years. When the vague idea for Magpie Salute came to me, I called him first, because I wanted the band to group around Marc and me. To my great joy Marc joined me, and it is great that we both still harmonize so well. Sven, on the other hand, is simply a very competent and versatile bass player, whom I always liked.
eclipsed: The line-up also includes an additional guitarist and various singers. The album also features another Black Crowe, keyboarder Eddie Harsh. However, the Canadian died at 59 shortly after the live recording of his debut.
Robinson: The recordings on these three days in a large recording room in Woodstock with invited guests and musicians were unfortunately Eds' farewell performance. Rest in peace, Ed.
eclipsed: You played through material from your Crowes past like "Wiser Time" and "What Is Home", but also numerous cover versions found their way from these sessions to the debut. For example Faces' "Glad And Sorry", Bob Marley's "Time Will Tell", Pink Floyd's "Fearless" or "Comin' Home" by Delaney & Bonnie. It seems to me that you would like to succeed band projects like Delaney & Bonnie.
Robinson: That's because when I met Ed and Marc, I didn't have a firm idea of what this band was going to be. I just wanted to play with different great musicians. Musicians and singers with whom I enjoy working and with whom I have a special relationship.