The Magnolia Electric Co rolled through the upper altitudes last night, taking the stage at Denver’s Larimer Lounge on the second night of their tour of under-appreciated time zones. The Magnolia Party Posse, so dubbed by strangely intense touring mates Ladyhawk, followed his Great Midwestern-ness, Jason Molina, around a series of tunes from the upcoming Fading Trails and Nashville Moon albums.
Several years ago I had to pillow talk my friends into spinning Didn’t It Rain, but Molina’s making things much easier these days, coating his gloom ‘n’ doom in sweet tea and tartar sauce. The band, which now includes a full-time piano man, were still finding the reins, fumbling through the song choices, but they choogled downhill whenever Molina’s steely tenor warbled or guitarist Jason Groth gyrated jus’ a lil’ bit. A cover of the Classics IV, um, classic “Spooky” mingled with “I’ve Been Riding with the Ghost” and amped takes on “Hammer Down” and “Just Be Simple” out-ripped their recorded kin. The formerly hostile Molina, ending songs with more than a few “thank you kindly”’s, has officially moved into the Neil Young Persona Assimilation Phase III – his live show offers few surprises but he makes hay with plenty of gritty, inspired tunes. Walk on.
Playing in a traveling band: Hit the link for the remaining MEC dates. Guitarist Groth is blogging about the gigs hereabouts. Fading Trails will drop September 12 on Secretly Canadian, while Molina’s solo joint, the decidedly autumnal Let Me Go Let Me Go Let Me Go, hits shelves August 22.