He started his recording career as a founding member of The Black Crowes and now leads The Magpie Salute. There's a reason Rich Robinson incorporated another bird as part of his new band's name. In a recent interview he said:
"The name The Magpie Salute comes from a superstition based in the UK. There are many variations, but the version I’m drawn to is the belief that if you see a magpie, you would do well to salute it ‘to ward off negativity, or to have a good day.’ The way you salute the magpie, based on some traditions is to say ‘Good Mornin’ Captain.’ The reason we salute is to show we’re unarmed, or what I like to say is ‘we come in peace.’ The Magpie falls within the crow umbrella of species, figuratively and literally. Magpies can be black and white which represents the light and the dark. I figured all of these things touch on many aspects of my life and this experience."
Rich Robinson could have called the band anything and I would listen. Then again, I'm not a tough sell. I was a fan of The Black Crowes almost from day one. In May of 1990, when we were 16, my friend Murph and I saw them open for the McAuley-Schenker Group at Philadelphia's historic former burlesque theater, The Trocadero. (We won the tickets from 93.3 WMMR, which is now part of the same company that owns K104.7. I've come full-circle.) The Black Crowes' first album, Shake Your Money Maker, had just come out four months earlier and was still building a following. The Troc was only half-filled but the young band put on a show worthy of a sold-out football stadium. I was hooked.
Fast forward to 2017. Rich and his brother, former Black Crowes' lead singer Chris Robinson, have gone their separate ways professionally after the Crowes disbanded two years ago. Since then, Rich has produced some solo work and even sat in with Bad Company briefly. But The Magpie Salute has the feel of something built to last. The band is generously populated with other talented musicians from the Black Crowes, as well as from Rich's band. They create a big rock and blues sound that is certainly reminiscent of The Black Crowes, but also of the Allman Brothers, the Rolling Stones, and the Faces.
The Magpie Salute's first tour brings them to the Neighborhood Theater in NoDa on August 15th. Their debut album drops on June 9th, featuring the hard-driving single, "Omission." Listen here: