In case you missed it, Band of Horses took the Jimmy Kimmel stage Tuesday night. What ensued was not a normal late night performance, but a tribute to the late Jason Molina. Wearing a Magnolia Electric Co. t-shirt, lead singer Ben Bridwell and the rest of the band performed the Molina original “I’ve Been Riding with the Ghost.” You can watch the video above. A special thanks to Band of Horses for this special performance.
It has been 17 days since we lost Jason Molina. As much as he meant to all of us here at Secretly, we recognize he meant just as much to you. The support and love we have experienced over the last couple of weeks has been tremendous and we thank all of you for that. We want to share some tid bits we’ve received – please see below.
First, all of the material Jason released on CD or vinyl is available for streaming on Magnolia Electric Co.’s Bandcamp for a limited time. Revisit his incredible body of work. Second, the Magnolia site has started a forum for friends to gather their thoughts – join in.
The Avett Brothers posted a beautiful cover of “Hammer Down” along with the words: “His music has always been, and will continue to be, an inspiration to us.” Watch above. Here’s the original.
The Wave Pictures – The Songs of Jason Molina / a covers tribute album “The music was bleak and un-showy, though Jason was dressed in an inappropriately fancy Nashville style suit. He had a guitar sound that rang like a bell. The songs cut straight to the core. The voice hit me in the belly.” – David Tattersall (of The Wave Pictures) after seeing Jason at End Of The Road Festival
“I never got a chance to tell him how that first album of his opened my mind. I was sixteen, I put some american dollars in an envelope and sent it over the sea. Two weeks later it arrived, I didn’t know music could sound that close. I followed his every move for years, bought every little strange seven inch and “tour only” CD. I’m sitting here now with those records spread out across the floor. I never grew tired of Jason’s songs because they don’t belong to a time but rather a place.” – Jens Lekman, entry posted on March 18, 2013
CFCF with a beautiful take on “Red Comet Dust” – downloadable via Bandcamp, with proceeds going to Jason’s wife
“He was a genius at turning a phrase and making it into something more than the words in it. Jason was almost supernaturally prolific, and several times I watched him write an album’s worth of songs in a weekend, recording them on the spot.” – Steve Albini
Finally, at the top of the post, you’ll notice the Molina Map, originally created by William Schaff as a gift to help Jason through troubled times. Graveface will pair the map with a CD of Molina covers titled Weary Engine Blues. The album will feature John Vanderslice, Mark Kozelek, Damien Jurado, Brown Bird, Scout Niblet, Will Oldham and many more musicians. All proceeds will go to pay Jason’s medical expenses. Listen to Kozelek’s “It’s Easier Now” cover below.
“Hold On Magnolia” December 3, 2006 at Acme Comics in Columbia, South Carolina
We are deeply saddened to announce that Jason Andrew Molina passed away in his home in Indianapolis this past Saturday, March 16th of natural causes at age 39. Jason was a world class musician, songwriter & recording artist. He was also a beloved friend. He first caught international attention in 1996 when he began releasing albums under the name Songs: Ohia. In 2003 he started the band Magnolia Electric Co. Between those two bands he released over a dozen critically-acclaimed albums and, starting in 1997, he toured the world every year until he had to stop in 2009 to deal with severe alcoholism. Jason was incredibly humbled by his fans’ support through the years and said that the two most important words he could ever say are “Thank you.”
This is especially hard for us to share. Jason is the cornerstone of Secretly Canadian. Without him there would be no us – plain and simple. His singular, stirring body of work is the foundation upon which all else has been constructed. After hearing and falling in love with the mysterious voice on his debut single “Soul” in early 1996, we approached him about releasing a single on our newly formed label. For some reason he said yes. We drove from Indiana to New York to meet him in person, and he handed us what would become the first of many JMo master tapes. And with the Songs: Ohia One Pronunciation of Glory 7″ we were given a voice as a label. The subsequent self-titled debut was often referred to by fans as The Black Album. Each Songs: Ohia album to follow proved a new, haunting thesis statement from a prodigal songwriter whose voice and soul burned far beyond that of the average twenty-something. There was organ-laced, sepia-toned econimica (1998′s Impala) and charred-hearted, free form balladry (1999′s Axxess and Ace). There were the dark glacial make-out epics of 2000′s The Lioness and the jungle incantations of 2000′s Ghost Tropic. There was the career-defining agnostic’s gospel of 2002′s Didn’t It Rain, an album about setting roots that also seemed to offer solace to a world that had recently seen its bar on terror raised. It was followed in 2003 by a thrilling about-face, the instant classic Magnolia Electric Co., which took Jason’s songwriting to ’70s classic rock heights. The move was such a powerful moment for Molina that Magnolia Electric Co. became the new moniker under which he would perform until 2009. With Magnolia Electric Co., Jason found a brotherhood in his bandmates, with whom he built an incredible live experience and made a truly classic album in Josephine (2009).
We’re going to miss Jason. He was generous. He was a one of a kind. And he had a voice unlike any other.
Fans can contribute to Jason’s medical fund as a memorial gift by sending money via PayPal.
Hold on, Magnolia, to that great highway moon No one has to be that strong But if you’re stubborn like me I know what you’re trying to be
Hold on, Magnolia, I hear that station bell ring You might be holding the last light I see Before the dark finally gets a hold of me
Hold on, Magnolia, I know what a true friend you’ve been In my life I have had my doubts But tonight I think I’ve worked it out with all of them
Hold on, Magnolia, to the thunder and the rain To the lightning that has just signed my name to the bottom line
Hold on, Magnolia, I hear that lonesome whistle whine Hold on, Magnolia, I think its almost time
Many of you have inquired as to Jason’s whereabouts and well-being since he canceled his tours with Will Johnson in 2009. Over the last two years Jason has been in and out of rehab facilities and hospitals in England, Chicago, Indianapolis, and New Orleans. It has been a very trying time for Jason, his friends, and his family. Although no one can be sure what the future holds, we feel very encouraged by the recent steps Jason has taken on the road towards becoming healthy and productive once again. Unfortunately, because he has no medical insurance, he has accrued substantial medical bills. We are asking all friends of Jason’s music to come together with a showing of financial support for him.
Please consider a contribution to his medical fund (via Paypal). Feel free to forward this to any and all appropriate parties. We are hoping to raise whatever funds we possibly can for Jason. He is currently working on a farm in West Virginia raising goats and chickens for the next year or so, and is looking forward to making great music again. Please also show your support and well wishes by sending letters and postcards to:
P.O. Box 423
Beaver, WV 25813
If you do not wish to use Paypal, please make donations out to Ashley Lawson at the same address.
Call this the Phantoms of Folk. Call this two lone wolves running together for one dark blissout of a night. Two of the finest indie-folk songwriters of the last decade come together under the Texas sky to quietly lay to tape 14 crushing, haunting tunes, leaving space enough in each to match their surroundings. In this collaboration between Jason Molina and Will Johnson, each seem to hold the other’s talents to fire and elevate both performance and creativity. In the friendly sharing of ideas, Molina and Johnson become two poet’s poets in a workshop, aimed to craft a singular, searing elegy.
Will Johnson describes this alignment of two red stars: “For ten days we wrote, co-wrote, workshopped, complimented, scrutinized, drank, invited friends to come play music, smoked, made lots of notes and drawings, drank a little more and shot the BB gun off the back porch when we just needed some time and space. In the throes of all this, our record was made in the late February sun.”
The album is also abound with contributions from other fine musicians, such as Magnolia Electric Co.’s Michael Kapinus and Texas songwriter Sarah Jaffe, whose plaintive vocals “All Gone, All Gone,” accompanied by the sound of a crying saw, will stir in your gut for days. Other accomplished contributors include Howard Draper, Bryan VanDivier and Scott Danbom.
Hear an mp3 of Molina and Johnson’s “Twenty Cycles to the Ground” HERE.
Molina and Johnson will be available on Secretly Canadian November 3 in the US, and November 2 in the UK. And check out the duo’s European tour planned for late November and December. There will also be a North American tour coming in early 2010.