Current reviews for "Magpie"
They are pungent, not subtle. The people who are experiencing them are well aware that they're doing something wrong, but the self-medication takes, more times than not, and they're able to withstand it all. They fall into problems and rarely, if ever, claw their way out of them. It's just one black hole of issues swirling around them, stinking up the place. Kevin Blackwell, the lead singer for the dirty bluegrass band out of Portland, Oregon, encapsulates the general character who calls these songs home, on "Mary Celeste...All this misery keeps great company. It's the liquor cabinet that takes a hurt.
Daytrotter, Nov. 19
Portland, OR’s Sassparilla returns with nine new songs of liquor drenched roots-pop/rock in Magpie. The songs on Magpie range from southern twinged rock to boot stomping folk, all with a strong pop sensibility. Often hailed as a band that harkens back to the “glory days of the AM dial,” Sassparilla has tapped into the vein of American roots music and given their own voice to a classic sound.
Oklahoma Lefty, Nov. 2012
"When it comes to bringing the sound of Americana to life, it’s hard to top Portland, Oregon-based outfit Sassparilla..."
IFC (Independent Film Channel) Oct. 24.
...a group who are equally adept in playing rock’n'roll as they are in country, bluegrass, and blues, and I think of a band like The Band who did this effortlessly..If Sassparilla become this generation’s version of The Band, that would be great, but I hope that they will remain Sassparilla throughout their journey.
This is book, Nov 22
"...Magpie is a trailblazer...The songwriting piquant, the mood brutal, and the energy undeniable, this record masterfully embraces dynamic contrasts and displays wide arrays of both style and substance. This is a chaw-spitting southern-rock outlaw sidling up to a bar for a shot of whisky and an eager ear to tell his story to. Do yourself a favor and lend him a listen.
Ampkicker, Oct 2012
"...terse vintage soul and blues arrangements. It’s a cool, original touch, managing to be retro and in the moment at the same time."
New York Music Daily, Oct. 15
"Magpie is nine songs from a band who is quickly becoming a favorite on the Pacific Northwest roots scene and for good reason. Label them folk-punk, psychobilly, rockabilly or bluesy-folk, but make no mistake, the music is sincere, earnest and well worth the listen."
AbsolutePunk, Oct, 2012
"Each of the nine songs on the album offer an opportunity to become mesmerized by their separate and unique nuance, stylistic sound, and reachable characters that are found on every track."
Music News Nashville. Oct. 13
"...Magpie lives up to its promise of delivering authentic Beatlesque Americana...gorgeous spine tingling territory...refreshingly honest with songs that are targeted straight for the heart and soul...
Power of Pop, Nov. 23
"...Throughout Magpie, and in Sassparilla’s previous musical outings, is emotional strain. It’s a sense of the beleaguered, the downtrodden, and the heartbroken. Every twanging fiber, every jagged note, effuses that quiet ache every one of us has felt.
Musically, Sassparilla is a sonic delight. Though deeply influenced by Blackwell’s punk roots, Sassparilla runs the gamut from blues to pop, and everywhere in between."
Nortwest Alternative, Sept.
"My introduction to roots-rock band Sassparilla came with the band’s album The Darndest Thing. So when I heard that the band has a new album coming out, I was very interested to hear it. That interest paid off. It is an interesting mix of sounds. You get some serious fuzz in the guitar, some bluegrass banjo, and some harmonica that brings a young Mick Jagger to mind. And that’s all in the song “Star.” From there, the album takes a turn toward rock and soul (just listen to those horns) with “The Mary Celeste” before going back to fuzzy blues rock in “Two Black Hearts.” From there, the album goes a little more mellow, but there isn’t a bad song on this album.
Sassparilla shows a good amount of range in this album, but regardless of the style, one thing is clear: these guys write good songs and tell good stories. If you like bands like Whiskeytown or The Jayhawks, you’ll enjoy this album."
Igcognito Music Magazine, Nov. 17
"Roots-pop group Sassparilla is reminiscent of the heyday of radio broadcasting. “Threadbare” paints a landscape of unexpected and untimely love that changes life as a whole. Magpie (Fluff & Gravy) is a genre cluster of a record, latent with dark overtones that chill the warmth of the heart."
Magnet Magazine, Sept. 26
"I thought The Darndest Thing was a dark album, but I can honestly say that the lyrics have gotten much darker in Magpie. The music is just as enjoyable as ever, with a bit more diversity on board this time around. The singing is emotional and often pulls at the heartstrings of the listener, especially when touching upon topics they can relate to. All-in-all, another successful album for Sassparilla, a band that seems to keep getting better with age."
GPop, Oct, 2012
The Eugene Register Guard 9/21/12"...Really, from one moment to the next I was never sure whether Magpie was going to take me soaring into the sky or tumbling back to Earth. Either way I came to realize it was going to be a great ride and is what made this compilation so much fun. The group has a way of slipping its images and music past the thinking mind and into the emotional centre of the brain. The best thing to do is strap in, close your eyes and enjoy the ride."
We Love Pop and Rock, 9/27/12The Dadada, North Carolina 9/11/12
"Under the “Band Interests" section of its Facebook profile, the Portland-based band Sassparilla lists just one thing:
“To meet Tom Waits."
If you know the work of Mr. Waits, then you can guess what Sassparilla sounds like. The band has been kicking around for several years, cranking out a shadowy brand of roots-blues, clunky ragtime and ornery rock ‘n’ roll that would sound good at closing time on Saturday night at the bar on the corner of Heartattack and Vine.
All that said, if you click over to Sassparilla’s official website, a song called “All the Way In" from the band’s new album, “Magpie," starts up and soars into an all-together-now chorus that recalls the accessible Americana of white-hot bands like Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers. Is Sassparilla aiming for new heights? I don’t know; I haven’t heard the rest of “Magpie." But “All the Way In" certainly indicates they have the chops to do so if they please.
One thing is for sure: This band’s live reputation is built on sweaty, energetic performances that exceed even the high bar set by their recordings. So you can click around your computer all you want, but the best way to experience Sassparilla is by checking them out"
The Bend Bulliten 10/9/12
"Imagine if Wilco, George Harrison and Cracker decided to combine their efforts"