Local Americana/Roots outfit Magnolia Mountain remembers the old days of vinyl records and wanted to connect with them in some significant way, so they’re releasing their new ambitiously sized CD, Redbird Green, in a double-album vinyl format. It was clearly a structure Magnolia frontman Mark Utley was working toward — the titles on the back of the CD are separated into four distinct sides.
“I’m a vinyl freak and I wanted to do the first record on vinyl but we didn’t have enough money,” Utley says from the living room of his Price Hill home. “Sitting down with one CD for an hour can be a little exhausting, but the good thing about the record is its broken into logical sections. You can listen to three or four songs at a time and they fit together with themselves as well as they fit as a piece with the whole thing.”
The band — Utley on vocals, guitar and banjo, guitarist Jordan Neff, vocalist Melissa English, Bob Lese on mandolin and harmonica, upright bassist Bob Donisi, drummer Matt Frazer — released its debut album, Nothing As It Was, last February to fairly universal acclaim and in the interim lost a member (steel guitarist Rockne Riddlebarger) and added others (vocalist Amber Nash, Neff’s partner from Shiny and the Spoon, and local guitar legend David Rhodes Brown).
Most bands would require a period of adjustment to sort that all out, but Utley had different plans for Magnolia Mountain. The first order of business was to keep writing.
“When we did the CD release show for the first one, we did an extra five songs at the end of the show, which turned out to be five of the songs on this record,” Utley says. “We just kind of kept rolling. If there was any problem at all, it was knowing when to stop. What do we not put on this record?”
Magnolia Mountain hosts its album release party Saturday at the Southgate House with The Tillers, The Hiders and High Strange Drifters.
Read Brian Baker's full interview with the band and get show and venue details here.