HOMESPUN: Magnolia Summer
The Current MovesEP
The Slip That Leads Into the Fall EP (Undertow) By Christian Schaeffer Wednesday, Mar 24 2010
No one can accuse Magnolia Summer leader Chris Grabau of getting lazy. Sixteen months after the release of the band’s most recent (and strongest) LP, Lines From the Frame, Grabau and company have compiled a pair of digital EPs (which are available at your favorite online MP3 retailer; find the list online at www.magnoliasummer.com). [click to continue…]
On March 23, 2010, Magnolia Summer will digitally release two EPs titled, The Current Moves and The Slip That Leads Into The Fall. Each EP is a series b-sides, non album tracks, failed experiments, and remixes compiled from the sessions that become their last full legnth record, Lines From The Frame (2009 undertow).
Chris Grabau has led Magnolia Summer through three albums, each one further refining his vision of direct, heartfelt American music. But with this year’sÂ Lines From the Frame, Grabau and his bandmates have perfected the balance between plangent guitar rock and delicate introspection. [click to continue…]
“Easygoing” may sometimes be a pejorative when it comes to rock & roll, but there are bands that make it a positive by combining it with both just enough bite on the one hand and a sense of actually letting the good times roll on the other. Thus theÂ Chris Grabau-led rotating collective Magnolia Summer, a band that’s clearly out to embrace a perfectÂ Dazed and Confused style of AM radio rock meant to sound good on slightly trashed speakers in a slightly trashed car, while allowing for a general sonic feel that seems a little more indie 1990s than pre-punk 1970s. (Not for nothing does the band thank a group likeÂ the Bottle Rockets under “Further Listening,” given thatÂ the Rockets‘Â John Horton is a member.) With the opening “Like Setting Suns” setting the tone thanks to immediately catchy riffs and harmonies, Magnolia Summer bring in some variations to the approach equally well on their third album — bandmemberÂ Kevin Buckley only appears directly on about half the songs but his performances on violin and other instruments add a gentle elegance to songs like the slow-burn anthem “Diminished Returns.” Other highlights include the combination of pedal steel guitar and soft male/female harmonies on “Birds Without a Wire” (female vocals courtesy ofÂ Kelly Kneiser fromÂ Glossary, an inspired guest turn further helped by the song’s nice turn on the in-love-on-the-road-going-nowhere trope) and the penultimate song, “Pulling Phase to Ground,” with the album’s best instrumental break by a mile, inspiring and epic. Though the album has a share of numbers that are pleasant enough without being striking,Â Lines from the Frame is still a good scratch-an-itch album for a certain style of rock that will always be around in one form or another.
Several reviews are coming in from the international release of the record, Lines From The Frame including reviews from Â UNITED KINGDOM, ITALY, IRELAND, DENMARK.Â Here are samples:
IRELAND (IRISH TIMES):Iâ€™m not one for strings attached, but everything has its place. Magnolia Summer (a new name to me, though this is the St Louis bandâ€™s third album) lay on the strings bigtime onÂ Diminished Returns , the second track from an album of shimmering, jangling excellence. And, boy, does it work, with great washes of sound building up around a memorable alt.country melody. Itâ€™s just one of the many fine tracks on this collection, which stands tall in the tradition of The Jayhawks and even Wilco in places. The songs are all written by Chris Grabau, who also handles the vocals and plays guitars. Itâ€™s fair to say the lyrics are a tad abstract, though there are great hooks, choruses, harmonies, melodies and guitar breaks. In short, itâ€™s all an alt.country devotee could desire from an obscure album.[click to continue…]
We’re pleased to announce Magnolia Summer will be performing a special show at The Luminary Center for the Arts on Saturday, July 11, 2009. Â We will be sharing the stage with DC’s These United States.
The Luminary |Center for the Arts hosts the Elevator Music Series, which is a monthly music series set in a contemporary art gallery with an emphasis on unique, one-of-a-kind musical experiences as a way to expand on the artfulness of the concert format and enrich the local music scene.
The Luminary is a not-for-profit studio and gallery space in St. Louis, Mo located in a historic former convent across from Tower Grove Park. It is an artist-run space that engages emerging artists, our local community, and other like-minded organizations through a diverse offering of events, services, and programming.