U.D.O have released their new video for ‘Rising High‘. Their new album ‘Steelfactory‘ will be released worldwide on 31st August.

The German metal gods U.D.O. roll over us with a heavyweight made of steel and metal better than ever!
With ‘SteelfactoryU.D.O return to their core competence, clearly influenced by their past shows with DIRKSCHNEIDER, the songs in their rousingly simple straightness have a hymn character, as it is only known from the past. ‘Steelfactory‘ has become a timeless metal album and thus the impressive statement of a master of his craft.
With its earthy, punchy and handmade sound – with the participation of the Danish producer Jacob Hansen (among others Volbeat) – ‘Steelfactory‘ meets the nerve of the time, which may be triggered again since the successful DIRKSCHNEIDER tour worldwide.

Official Website


Hank Erix, the frontman of the Swedish AOR band Houston, has announced the release of his first solo album ‘Nothing But Trouble‘ on October 5th, 2018 via Livewire/Cargo Records UK and released an audio teaser for the upcoming music video for ‘Fortune Hunter‘, the first single from his new album.

As Hank reveals: “They say that life is not about being who you are; it’s about becoming who you want to be. After almost a decade with Houston I’ve learned a lot about myself and the music that I love. These songs are me, all me, singing my heart out for the world to hear and this album has been a dream of mine, something to cross off the bucket list if you will“.

The album was produced, mixed and mastered by Mats Ericsson at BoomBridge Studios. Recorded at BoomBridge Studios & Erix Music & Production Studios. Executive Producer – Hank Erix.

Hank Erix is the frontman of the Swedish AOR band Houston. A band that have been a bright star in the AOR / Melodic rock sky over their last five releases. The band received the best AOR album 2010 accolade in Classic Rock Magazine and have appeared on several impressive festivals throughout Europe such as Sweden Rock and Download Festival. Over almost a decade with HoustonHank Erix has made quite a name for himself in the melodic rock world and it’s finally time for the release of his solo debut ‘Nothing but Trouble‘.

The album features songs that has been marinating for years and sees the band leader of Houston taking a bold step forward from the expected Houston sound and sees Hank flexing his more hard rocking muscles. Tagging along with Hank Erix on this 1700cc motorcycle ride of an album are members of Therion, Degreed, Art Nation, Wildness, Kryptonite, Palace, Gutterdämerung & Adrenaline Rush.


Hank Erix – Lead & Backing vocals
Michael Palace – Lead Guitars & Backing vocals
Soufian Ma’Aoui – Bass
Daniel Johansson – Rhythm Guitars
Mats Ericsson – Drums
Micke Jansson – Keyboard / Synth

Additional guests:

Linnea Vikström – Lead vocals & Backing vocals on ‘Affair Of The Heart’
Alexander Hagman – Lead guitar on ‘Affair Of The Heart’
Sam Söderlind – Guitar solo on ‘Last Chance To Love’
Michael Palace – Additional guitars on ‘Last Chance To Love’
Victor Lundberg – Backing vocals on ‘Shadowdance’


Norwegian melodic heavy rock/metal band, Big City, have released a music video for ‘Running For Your Life‘, the track is taken of their second album ‘Big City Life‘, due out as a double CD digipack including their 2013 debut album ‘Wintersleep‘ on June 22nd, 2018 via ROAR! Rock Of Angels RecordsBig City features members of ScariotBlood Red ThroneWithemMaraton and Memoria Avenue.

The video was edited by Jim Evgenidis at Icon Filmworx Studios.

Big City Life‘ Tracklist:

  1. Big City Life
  2. Cryin’ In The Night
  3. Daemon In The Dark
  4. Rocket Man
  5. Stars Surrounding
  6. From This Day
  7. Running For Your Life
  8. Forgive Me Now
  9. Tower Of Babylon
  10. Home Again

Wintersleep‘ Tracklist:

  1. Midnight Train
  2. Innocence Of A Kill
  3. Wintersleep
  4. Fire And Stone
  5. Too Late
  6. The Last Sleep
  7. Iseline
  8. Love Break The Heart
  9. Harbor Of Tears
  10. Will You Be Gone

Line up:

Jan Le Brandt – Vocals (Memoria Avenue, Northquake)
Daniel Olaisen – Guitars(Scariot, Blood Red Throne, ex-Satyricon)
Frank Ørland – Guitars (ex-Scariot)
Miguel Pereira – Bass (Withem)
Frank Nordeng Røe – Drums (Withem, Maraton)



The Devon Allman Project with special guest Duanne Betts, will tour the UK in September 2018. All tickets, priced £20, go on sale at 9am on Monday 26th February from www.thegigcartel.com and 08444 780 898.

On August 12, 2017 after spending much of the summer off the road, Devon Allman, former leader of Royal Southern Brotherhood and Devon Allman’s Honeytribe, reignited his career with an appearance at an all-star tribute to his father Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks at Peachfest (an Allman Bros. curated festival in the Northeast U.S.). Chuck Leavell, Jaimoe, Duane Betts, Marc Quinones, Peter Levin, Oteil Burbridge, Dave Schools and many others participated in the special tribute.

The Devon Allman Project with special guest Duane Betts (son of Dickey – former member of Dawes and Great Southern) first kicked off their 2018 World Tour with a very special show at the Fillmore in San Francisco on December 8, 2017. The Fillmore show featured guest appearances by Luther and Cody Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars), Samantha Fish, Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie, Jeff Beck, Hank Williams Jr.), Bobby Whitlock (Derek & The Dominos, Dr. John, Rolling Stones ) and long-time Gregg Allman keyboardist, Peter Levin, will act as the musical director.

On the forthcoming UK tour, The Devon Allman Project welcomes special guest Duane Betts. Each night will feature a set of Duane’s originals, Devon Allman originals, Royal Southern Brotherhood and Honeytribe songs along with an encore set including Allman Brothers songs with Devon, Duane and special guests participating.

On September 7, 2017, ahead of kicking off the 2018 World Tour, Devon participated in an event at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles with multiple Grammy winning producer, Don Was, Scott Sharrard (Gregg’s Musical Director) and Gregg’s long-time manager, Michael Lehman.

Just two days later, on September 9, Devon accepted the key to the city of Macon at the historic Big House Museum on his father’s behalf. The Mayor proclaimed December 8th Gregg Allman Day.

Not even a week later, there was yet another event and performance at the Americana Music Fest on September 15 with Buddy Miller, Joan Osborne, Pony Bradshaw, and John Paul White (Civil Wars).

Additionally, Devon joined The Gregg Allman Band at the Laid Back Festival (Gregg Allman estate curated event) in Atlanta on October 14. The band performed songs from Gregg’s final album, Southern Blood, followed by a handful of Allman hits led by Devon.

A series of lengthy accomplishments have entitled Devon to take his own place in the Southern Rock pantheon.

His remarkable resume spans almost two decades, from his post-millennial breakout with Honeytribe, and the widely revered super group Royal Southern Brotherhood. Devon has also had occasion to jam with the greats such as Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Mr. Les Paul, Keith Urban, Gov’t Mule and Lynyrd Skynyrd just to name a few.

Through his run of successful solo albums, Turquoise was highly regarded by USA Today: Turquoise is reflective and soulful”; while Ride or Die hit #1 on the Billboard Blues Charts.

Devon is also a contributing writer to Guitar Player Magazine as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the National Blues Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.

Devon has done a Q & A ahead of the tour:

  1. What’s the best gig that you’ve been to in the last five years, or has inspired you the


David Gilmour in Chicago …holy s**t.  How the hell he got his tone to sound just like the 

records in a basketball arena is beyond me.  It was quite literally a master class in feel.  His 

tone was liquid, ethereal, velvety… I was mystified from the first note.   

  1. What is your favourite part of touring and what is your least favourite part of it?

I love making people happy for 2 hours a night.  I get to lead them through a break from 

the world and that feeds my soul ….that is why I do it.  Least favourite is I miss my son, 

siblings and loved ones and it’s hard to find fresh veg juice. 

  1. What’s your favourite UK venue so far, and why do you like it so much? Can you share

some memories about this venue? 

Royal Albert Hall because it’s the bollocks.  It was an honour to play there a few years ago

with Royal Southern Brotherhood. 

  1. Do you have a pre-show ritual? If so what is it?

I have my cats make a circle.  We give to thanks to the universe, we ask for the groovies to 

align, to watch over our families.  I slap my ribs to get the adrenaline going and I usually tell 

the cats to “take your pisses and text your bitches” …and that’s tongue and cheek and said 

lovingly….so pipe down feminists.    

  1. How do like to relax on a day off during a tour?

That’s for me to know and you to wonder about. 

  1. Are there any up-and-coming bands out there that you really like? If so who are they?

F**k yes I love Caroline Rose, Jason Isbell, The Record Company …so many more …There’s 

great great s**t out there if you dig. 

  1. How do you prepare yourself for a tour?

Smoothies, hang with my son, play lots of heavy metal on vinyl. 

  1. What can we look forward to on the tour?

It’s a great show.  We have tweaked it and it’s got great flow.  I love every member of my 

band and every song we play.  It’s a trip down my career and we play at least a song off of 

every record of mine and then Duane Betts comes out and we tip our hat to our dads’ 

catalogue and even some tributes to the heroes we have lost recently like Tom Petty and 


  1. Your special guest is Duane Betts.  Are there going to be any more special guests?

Stay tuned …because you know that s**t is happening.   

  1. You have been touring the Devon Allman Project all over the world. Any favourite  places so far and any stories you can share with us?

I love Italy, Australia, Norway, really anywhere that has people ready to throw down and 

good electricity.  As for the stories ….wait for my book, it’s gonna be a good book.   

Tour Dates:

The Fleece, Bristol Sunday 2 September Book  12 St Thomas St, Bristol BS1 6JJ https://thefleece.co.uk

Robin 2, Bilston Monday 3 September 20-28 Mount Pleasant, Bilston WV14 7LJ www.therobin.co.uk

Islington Assembly Hall, London Tuesday 4 September Upper St, London N1 2UD http://islingtonassemblyhall.co.uk

Riverside, Newcastle Thursday 6 September Neptune House Coroners House, Close, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3RQ www.riversidenewcastle.co.uk

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds Friday 7 September 33 Queen’s Rd, Leeds LS6 1NY www.brudenellsocialclub.co.uk

Academy 3, Manchester Saturday 8 September Moss Ln E, Manchester M14 4PX www.manchesteracademy.net

Official Website


US heavy metal Legend Steel Prophet has signed a multi-album deal with ROAR! Rock of Angels Records. The new Album ‘The God Machine‘ will be released in early 2019.  New singer to be announced soon.

The highly respected Steel Prophet, hailing from Van Nuys in California, deliver technically minded Progressive Heavy Metal. The band was actually assembled in Middletown, Connecticut during 1983  and has released 8 studio albums so far.

Line up:

Steve Kachinsky Blackmoor – Guitars
t.b.a. – Vocals
Vince du Juan Dennis – Bass (Body Count, Obscene Gesture, Agent Steel, Tourniquet)
John Tarascio – Drums
Jon Paget – Guitars


The Howling Tides have released a video for their first single ‘Crack My Soul‘, out on WDFD Records. This is the first release from their new EP ‘The Howling Tides‘ which will be released on 29th June.

The Howling Tides are a Hard Rock band hailing from the Midlands, four lifelong friends fusing energised musicianship with powerful, potent songwriting. Taking influence from legends of Rock, Metal, Blues and beyond, the band strike out with a refreshingly original sound and vibe that’s all their own.

They have played hundreds of shows, released 2 EP’s and racked up rave reviews and significant radio airplay including receiving acclaim from Planet Rock’s Paul Antony & Kerrang!’s Johnny Doom (under their previous monicker Anonymous). With a hard-earned reputation for energetic and powerful live shows, The Tides have shared lineups with the likes of The Dead Daisies, Crazy Town, RavenEye, Bad Touch, and many more, always pushing for greater Musical heights, in the true spirit of the legends that influence them.

The Howling Tides have recently returned from the Hard Rock Hell Ibiza festival, and are now gearing up for the release of a brand new 5-track EP, (Produced by modern-day British Blues Rock legend Aynsley Lister) available on all major platforms June 29th. With an unrelenting desire to deliver soulful Hard Rock and unforgettable live shows, The Howling Tides are a band set on making their mark.

Upcoming shows:

23rd June, Percys Cafe Bar, Whitchurch

29th June, The Underground, Stoke On Trent

10th November, The Witch Tripper, Mansfield

More dates tbc

Line up:

Rob Baynes- Vocals/Guitar

Hayden Kirk – Guitar/Vocals

Luke Lawley – Bass/Vocals

Steven ‘Herbie’ Herbert – Drums


Bullet For My Valentine have released ‘Letting You Go’, the third track from forthcoming album,Gravity‘.

Matt Tuck says, “Letting you go was a very challenging song to write in so many ways. It’s by far the most experimental track I’ve ever written musically and lyrically. I really wanted to make a track that stood out from the crowd and separated us from any other band in our genre, and that’s exactly what ‘Letting You Go’ does.”

Meanwhile, BFMV have announced an Oct / Nov 2018 UK and Euro tour, including two arena slots for the UK, taking place on November 10th at Alexandra PalaceLondon, and on November 11th at Motorpoint ArenaCardiff.

Of Mice & Men will appear as support on all shows.

‘Gravity’ Euro & UK Tour Dates

24 Columbiahalle Berlin, DE
26 Jahrhunderthalle Frankfurt, DE
27 Palladium Cologne, DE
28 Zenith Munich, DE
30 Samsung Hall Zurich, CH
31 Estragon Bologna, IT

03 Haus Auensee Leipzig, DE
06 Casino de Paris Paris, FR
07 Rockhal Esch-sur-Alzette, LX
08 013 Tilburg, NL
10 Alexandra Palace London, UK
11 Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, UK

Tickets are on sale here: http://www.bulletformyvalentine.com/live/

Pre-orders for new studio album ‘Gravity’, along with special bundles, are available now http://bfmv.com/gravity. Those that pre-order the album will receive instant downloads of ‘Piece of Me’, ‘Over It’ and ‘Letting You Go’.

‘Gravity’ due for release on June 29th– is BFMV’s first album under the Search and DestroySpinefarm Records banner, and aptly sees the band rewriting their own future – finding new ways to invent heavy noise and remaining unshackled by the legacy that comes with being masters of their trade.

BFMV are due to perform second to headline on the Friday of Download (UK) Festival – their first home-turf festival performance in five whole years. The band will then headline European summer festivals and venues before traveling to Japan for the Summersonic event, then on to the US.

Ryan Roxie (guitarist for Alice Cooper) has just confirmed he will take part in the upcoming ‘Planet Axe‘ tour in support of his new solo album ‘Imagine Your Reality‘ which was released on May 25th, 2018 via Cargo Records UK.

Joining Roxie on the ‘Planet Axe‘ tour will be fellow guitarists/vocalists Brandon Gibbs (Devil City Angels) and Joel Kosche (Collective Soul). Roxie‘s touring band on this run of U.S. dates will include Kosche as well as Robby Miller (bass) and Kenny Bailey (drums).

After the Planet Axe dates, Roxie will hook up with his boss and the rest of the Alice Cooper Band for US/Canada Cooper tour dates that will continue from August – October.

Planet Axe Tour Dates:

July 18th: The Nick – Birmingham, AL, USA
July 19th: 37 Main – Buford, GA, USA
July 20th: Private Event – Somerset, KY, USA
July 21st: MVP Bar – Cincinnati, OH, USA
July 22nd: Firehouse BBQ & Blues – Richmond, IN, USA
July 25th: Tailgators – Cedar Rapids, IA, USA
July 26th: Rascals Live Music Venue – Moline, IL, USA
July 27th: Psycho Silo Saloon – Langley, IL, USA
July 28th: Stone Toad Bar & Grill – Menasha, WI, USA

RYAN ROXIE, is best known as ALICE COOPER‘s long-time lead guitarist and collaborator. He has also worked with Slash & Gilby Clarke and been a member of Classic Rock Award nominated band, Casablanca. Roxie has had an impressive ride so far!

Imagine Your Reality‘ is his first official ‘solo’ release and sees him joined by other noteworthy musicians, including a collaboration with Cheap Trick‘s Robin Zander on the track California Man.

Imagine Your Reality‘ continues Roxie‘s legacy of creating infectiously melodic songs and straight ahead no nonsense rock riffs, and this time with more guitar than ever before! Ten tracks, all underlined by ten gleaming guitar solos. From the punk rock undertones of ‘Never Mind Me‘ to the un-sugarcoated tale of life in La La Land (To Live and Die in LA) to the superb Beatle-y/Oasis nod, ‘Look Me In The Eye‘ – it’s a uplifting big rock sound. Robin Zander transforms ‘California Man‘ into the ultimate vintage-vibed, top down, drive in the sunshine, rock n’ roll anthem.

Official Website


The Kris Barras Band will be hitting the road in September for a UK headline tour. To celebrate this they have revealed the new video for’Stitch Me Up‘ which captures moments of the band on the road throughout their incredible March tour, earlier this year.

Talking about the video he says “this is a track that I love to play live and it was great to use footage from our ‘Divine and Dirty’ tour to make the video. Although it’s different when it comes to my music, I actually don’t take myself too seriously. There’s plenty of backstage moments captured in this vid where I’m pi**ing about! We had great fun on the tour and I think this video sums it up well.”

The Devon born, Barras is having a whirlwind start to the year. He released the stunning new album ‘The Divine And Dirty‘ in March, when he played a headline tour selling out shows across the country and supported Beth Hart on her April-May UK Tour. He joins Supersonic Blues Machine as singer/guitarist alongside the legendary Billy F. Gibbons (ZZ Top)  for their upcoming July European Tour – including their debut headline show at Shepherds Bush Empire, London, plus he has announced his own headline show at The Borderline, London on 20 June, as well as festival appearances at Ramblin’ Man Fair as well as Italy, Poland, Sitzerland and Netherlands this summer.

Talking about the tour he says; “I’m really excited to be heading out on my headline UK tour in September. We have really tried to reach some areas that we haven’t played in before, as well as returning to some of the cities that we did acoustically on the Beth Hart Tour. It will be great to go back to those with the full, electric set! We’ve finally got a Scottish date in there too, which I’m really looking forward to.”

Full Tour Dates
Tickets available from www.krisbarrasband.com

15 Jun      LoveRocks Festival, Ferndown
20 Jun      The Borderline, London
21 Jun      Rock City, Nottingham
22 Jun      Marsh Blues Club, Huddersfield
23 Jun      Durham Blues Rhythm & Rock Festival, Tyne & Wear
29 Jun      Maidstone Leisure Center, Maidstone
01 Jul       Ramblin’ Man Fair, Maistone
04 Jul       Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK w/SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE ft BILLY F. GIBBONS
07 Jul       Suwalki Blues Festival, POLAND w/SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE ft BILLY F. GIBBONS
15 Jul       Pistoria Blues Festival, ITALY w/SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE ft BILLY F. GIBBONS
16 Jul       Carroponte Spazio Mil, Milan, ITALY  w/SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE ft BILLY F. GIBBONS
18 Jul       Piazza Europa Narcaol, Narcao (CI) ITALY w/SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE ft BILLY F. GIBBONS
20 Jul       Blues in Villa, Brugnera (PN) ITALY  w/SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE ft BILLY F. GIBBONS
22 Jul       Upton Blues Festival,  Worcester
28 Jul       The Rock And Blues Custom Show, Pentrich
04 Aug     Calstock Bike Show, Calstock
18 Aug     Motor City Festival, Ljunljana, SLOVENIA

07 Sep     Phoenix, Exeter
09 Sep     Ekletica Festival, Isle of Wight
11 Sep     Talking Heads, Southampton
12 Sep     Engine Room, Lincoln
13 Sep     Asylum 2, Birmingham
14 Sep     Patriot Crumlin, South Wales
15 Sep     Corporation, Sheffield
16 Sep     The Tunnels, Bristol
18 Sep     Trillians, Newcastle
19 Sep     Club Rock, Carlisle
20 Sep     King Tuts, Glasgow
21 Sep     Warehouse, Harrogagte
22 Sep     Night & Day, Manchester
23 Sep     Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool
25 Sep     Brickmakers, Norwich
27 Sep     Flowerpot, Derby
29 Sep     The Kent Blues Collective Festival, Gillingham

Old friends pass through our lives similar to characters in a time-worn, dog-eared novel.

As we page through life, they return to walk alongside of us on bold new adventures at all the right moments. Such is the story of The Magpie Salute. For as much as the group represents a musical union of swaggering rock ‘n’ roll, psychedelic blues, and campfire-worthy storytelling, it also marks a reunion of musicians whose paths twisted and turned right back to each other.

Pulled together by guitarist Rich Robinson, it continued a storyline he began in the Black Crowes with guitarist Marc Ford and bassist Sven Pipien. Meanwhile, vocalist John Hogg shared Hookah Brown with Robinson as keyboardist Matt Slocum and drummer Joe Magistro both joined him for solo records and tours over the years.

Now, these six individuals conjure magic on their full-length debut of original material,’High Water I‘ [Mascot/Eagle Rock], for August 10th 2018 with ‘High Water II‘ to come in 2019.

“It’s the recontextualization of playing with one another,” Robinson states. “When I was putting this thing together, I was thinking about how even though we may not have played for almost a decade, it just comes back immediately. The chemistry is unexplainable. Of course, I’m the same guy who played with the Black Crowes and wrote all of those songs, but this is a different context for myself, Marc, and Sven. It’s the convergence of three different worlds and eras for me. We’re all here together in this one place. Simultaneously, it’s amazing for Marc and Sven to play with Joe and Matt and John to be in the middle of it all. For me, that was really cool to witness. This is what I wanted to do.”

“The more time we spend together, the more I realize how much of my life is involved with Rich,” Ford reveals. “This is probably the best band I’ve ever been in. As a player, it challenges me. There’s something beyond us that we’re agreeing with. This music wants us to be a part of it. Rich and I just agreed that whatever it took for us to drop our bullshit—so be it. That way, we could let this happen in our lives. It’s better when we’re together than when we’re not. We’re better friends than we’ve ever been. I’ve learned more about him in the last year than I had in the past thirty. Rich and I have been able to pick up this fragmented broken piece of a very bizarre life together and unite as grown men and say, ‘Wow, that was something. Let’s see what we can do with it.’”

“We’re all very aware of this position we’re in,” adds Hogg. “Rich and Marc have this intense and long history together in quite a public way. At the same time, you’ve got Sven who’s been in the band forever, and Joe has been with Rich for 15 years. I have this history with Rich. I won’t lie; it’s all quite unusual,” he laughs, “I’m working with the greatest musicians I’ve ever worked with. The dynamic is powerful and positive. There’s been a number of long journeys that suddenly all coalesce.”

As those roads converged, The Magpie Salute first took flight in 2016 when Robinson assembled the original ten-piece incarnation for a now seminal Woodstock gig. The group went on to sell out four consecutive nights at The Gramercy in January 2017 chronicled with a historic Guitar Player cover featuring the two six-stringers. By the top of 2018, the band delivered a total of 77 seismic sets worldwide comprised of a 170-song repertoire of covers, Crowes’ tunes, and solo material. Acclaim came from Guitar WorldRelix, and more, while Rolling Stone summed it up succinctly as “Explosive.” They unveiled their debut, The Magpie Salute (Live), topped off by one original “Omission.” By the time they retreated to Dark Horse Studios in Nashville with Robinson in the producer’s chair, the vision crystallized with the six-person lineup.

“Touring as a ten-piece is cool, but it’s more like a revue,” admits Robinson. “Everything on stage was great. When you’re ready to record, there’s a lot of space that needs to be considered though. We didn’t want it to get too chaotic or too hard to sift through. The core was really important and needed to shine as a strong six-piece. It was great to build something new last year. We were born in a sense. Now, we’re working towards something as a tight unit.”

“We bashed out all of the framework on tour,” continues Ford. “When we got off the road, we focused and let it really shine.”

The Magpie Salute are launching High Water I with “Send Me An Omen.” The twang of a hummable riff roars under Hogg’s towering delivery before spiraling into an entrancing melody punctuated by gang harmonies and butter smooth solos.

“It’s a rock ‘n’ roll song,” asserts Robinson. “It’s about a relationship that’s not working. By the time it gets to the chorus, there’s a happier singalong juxtaposed to John’s lyrics. I enjoy messing around with songs that tow the line between dark and light.”

“Mary The Gypsy” charges ahead on bombastic drums and thick guitars that give way to an anti-establishment chant. “It’s a charge to get rid of this false positive corporate mentality of cynically looking at creators,” sighs Robinson. “It’s the same thing it’s always been. Bankers are running this industry and trying to tell artists how to make money. Why not just create what comes naturally to you?” 

A rustle of acoustic strumming opens the floodgates on “High Water” as the vocal vulnerability underscores unrest teeming just beneath the surface. “It touches on the whole overarching theme of the record,” Robinson goes on. “It’s discussing humanity and everything we’re going through.”

The group spreads its wings on the sweeping “Sister Moon.” “That came from John and I staying in a house together,” recalls Ford. “We lived together 24 hours a day for ten days. We would just sit, poke at the fire, and tell stories. Many ideas came from that. That’s how ‘Sister Moon’ started. It’s so vibe-y and beautiful. John and I had never met before. The track is like us meeting.”

Elsewhere, the plaintive and poignant “Colorblind” details Hogg’s perspective on growing up of mixed African and Swedish descent. “It was quite complicated being somebody of mixed race when I was young in London,” remarks the singer. “I was looking at some of the feelings I experienced. In a time where race and gender issues are getting inflamed, it’s current to think on what this means.”

The slow burn of drums and string plucks swings towards a dramatic close on the sparse, yet soulful “Open Up.”

“That one looks inward,” Robinson explains. “Think of someone who has been closed off for an entire lifetime. This person inhabits one place. Finally, the world opens up. It’s a cool ending.”

In many ways, the name reflects the spirit of The Magpie Salute.

“I’ve always loved the element of crows, but they have a dark connotation,” Robinson elaborates. “Magpies are revered by ancient and indigenous cultures around the world, because they walk that bridge between dark and light. A magpie is also a cousin to a crow. This band was a cousin to the Crowes last year. Now, there’s a superstition where you salute a magpie if you see him. It supposedly wards off bad spirits. A salute means, ‘We come in peace.’ That’s our goal. We just want to play together. It made sense.”

In the end, The Magpie Salute’s story is just beginning to get good.

Baptized by High Water, these friends start anew.

“I want people to realize it’s something different and also a little familiar,” Robinson leaves off. “I hope they can connect it to the records that defined their lives. Music is there to give us joy, perspective, and show angles we haven’t seen before. I appreciate it more than ever. It’s a gift.”

I hope listeners can be relieved of some of their burdens by hearing us have fun and share our stories,” smiles Hogg. “That’s all I could ask for.

Ford concludes, “Ultimately, there’s a spirit of reconciliation over the whole thing—because we all dropped a lot of bullshit to get together and make this music happen. There’s freedom and power in that. It’s a pretty righteous record as a result. It’s a lot of grown men who have lived and are still standing to bravely and truthfully tell about it.” – Rick Florino, May 2018

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