Gibbons’ New Solo LP Is 2018’s “Baddest” Rock Album

Courtesy: Concord Records

This year was a very productive span for the rock realm.  New offerings from well-known acts, such as Joe Satriani, Billy Gibbons and Stone Temple Pilots were joined by some enjoyable offerings from some lesser-known acts, such as The Magpie Salute, The Marcus King Band and Black Coffee to make for quite the selection of new offerings.

Simply put, the mainstream and the independent offerings turned out this year gave audiences plenty to appreciate. Many of those offerings made their way into Phil’s Picks list of the year’s top new rock albums, including and not limited to the offerings from the acts already noted here.

Topping off this critic’s list this year is Billy Gibbons’ new album The Big Bad Blues.  The ZZ Top star’s latest solo offering features some impressive covers of classic blues and blues rock tunes, while also offering some equally entertaining originals to round out the record’s body.  The whole is a record that is a solid listen from start to finish.

Taking second spot in this year’s list of the year’s top new rock albums is legendary guitarist Joe Satriani’s latest offering What Happens Next.  The full-on instrumental offering is everything that fans have come to expect from Satch, with touches of his past and present.

Third spot in this year’s list goes to Slash, Alter bridge front man Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators.  The group’s new offering Living The Dream is a well-produced and engineered album with plenty of radio ready singles that go a long way toward displaying the group’s collective talents.  The lyrical themes are just as easily accessible as the record’s arrangements.  While not a perfect record, it is still enjoyable in its own right.

The remainder of this year’s list is noted below.  Also featured in this year’s list are new efforts from Black Coffee, Pop Evil and P.O.D.  As always, the list’s top 10 titles are the best while the five that follow are all honorable mention titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2018 Top 10 New Rock Albums.


  1. Billy Gibbons — The Big Bad Blues
  2. Joe Satriani — What Happens Next
  3. Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators — Living The Dream
  4. Clutch — The Book of Bad Ideas
  5. Michael Schenker Fest — Resurrection
  6. Black Coffee — Take One
  7. Black Stone Cherry — Family Tree
  8. Pompeii — The Secret Sessions
  9. P.O.D. — Circles
  10. The Marcus King Band — Carolina Confessions
  11. The Zealots — Only Rocks Live Forever
  12. Roine Stolt’s Flower King — Manifesto of an Alchemist
  13. The Magpie Salute — Highwater I
  14. Royal Tusk — Tusk II
  15. Stone Temple Pilots — Stone Temple Pilots

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The Magpie Salute Announces Debut LP’s Release Date, Tour Dates

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The Black Crowes are coming back…sort of.

Three members of the seminal rock band re-united recently to form a new band dubbed The Magpie Salute.  The band, comprised of Rich Robinson, Marc Ford, and Sven Pipien, will release its self-titled debut full-length this summer.

The record is currently slated to be released Friday, June 9 via Eagle Rock Entertainment.  It was recorded live in-studio front of an intimate audience at Applehead Studios in Woodstock, New York except for the full-studio track ‘Omission.’  The album marks the last recorded by ex-Black Crowes keyboardist Eddie Harsch, who also handled keyboards on this record.

The Magpie Salute’s lead single ‘Omission’ will impact radio stations nationwide next month.  A companion video for the single is expected to be released soon after.  Also in advance of the album’s release, the band will release a special 10” vinyl 45 single of ‘Comin’ Home’ and ‘Glad and Sorry’ on Record Store Day, April 22.

A headlining tour in support of The Magpie Salute is scheduled to launch July 26 in Indianapolis, IN.  The tour includes three stops in North Carolina on August 15, 16 and 20 in Charlotte, Raleigh and Asheville respectively.

Before the band launches its headlining tour, it will also embark on an extensive European spring/summer tour that launches April 12 in London, U.K. and runs through July 13 in Berlin, Germany.  The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

U.S. and international tour dates for THE MAGPIE SALUTE:
4/12 LONDON, U.K. Under The Bridge
4/13 LONDON, U.K. Under The Bridge
4/14 LONDON, U.K. Under The Bridge
4/15 LONDON, U.K. Under The Bridge
6/10 GROLLOO, NETHERLANDS Holland Int. Blues Festival
7/11 FRANKFURT, GERMANY Batschkapp
7/12 MUNICH, GERMANY Tollwood Festival
7/13 BERLIN, GERMANY Huxley’s Neue Welt
7/28 CHICAGO, IL Metro
7/29 CHICAGO, IL Metro
7/30 DETROIT, MI Saint Andrew’s
8/1 BUFFALO, NY Tralf Music Hall
8/3 BOSTON, MA The Wilbur
8/4 HARTFORD, CT Infinity Hall
8/5 HAMPTON BEACH, NH Casino Ballroom
8/8 NEW BEDFORD, MA The Zeiterion Theatre
8/9 RED BANK, NJ Count Basie Theatre
8/11 SCRANTON, PA The Peach Music Festival
8/12 SILVER SPRING, MD The Fillmore
8/13 HUNTINGTON, NY The Paramount
8/15 CHARLOTTE, NC Neighborhood Theatre
8/16 RALEIGH, NC The Ritz
8/18 ATLANTA, GA The Buckhead Theatre
8/19 MYRTLE BEACH, SC Myrtle Beach Speedway
8/20 ASHEVILLE, NC Diana Wortham Theatre
8/22 CINCINNATI, OH Bogart’s
8/24 LOUISVILLE, KY Mercury Ballroom
9/7 SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Fillmore
9/8 SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Fillmore
9/13 LOS ANGELES, CA The Fonda Theatre
9/15 TELLURIDE, CO Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
9/22 MORRISON, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
(with JJ Grey & Mofro, North Mississippi Allstars,
and Anders Osborne present N.M.O)

More information on The Magpie Salute’s new album, single, tour and more is available online now at:










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