Magnolia Bayou
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Magnolia Bayou

Gulfport, MS | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Gulfport, MS
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Southern Rock




"EXCLUSIVE PRE- RELEASE REVIEW: Magnolia Bayou- Self Titled Album"

This review has been brought to you by the emergency broadcast system. There is a hurricane churning just north of the Mississippi sound. It will soon rapidly expand until it consumes the entire region before affecting all of North America and afterwards the rest of the world. It does not come in the form of gale force winds, heavy rain, and thunder, but it is a sonic revival taking place in Mississippi. A resurgence of blues- inspired rock n' roll is beginning to take shape, and people are starting to take notice. If you were lucky enough to attend the Bishop Gunn Crawfish Boil in Natchez in early May of 2018, you were at ground zero of a new musical movement. There were no edm beats, mumbling rappers, or piped in computerized backing tracks to be found. It was all pure, homegrown, no frills blues, country, soul, and rock n' roll. One of the stars of the lineup was a four piece band called Magnolia Bayou.

Magnolia Bayou is based out of Gulfport, Mississippi. The band consists of Andrew Fulton on vocals and guitar, Dylan Palmiero on lead guitar, Josh Estes on bass, and George Clayton on drums. Drummer Richie Henry contributed to several tracks on the album as well. They have been touring the region putting in their dues at local bars and recently town festivals. While their music may be seen to some as a throw back to late sixties and early seventies rock n' roll, they are so much more than a group of suburbanite kids trying to copy Led Zeppelin. I consider their music a proper evolution of blues inspired rock. As I was speaking to their lead singer in preparation for this review he brought up an interesting point. I had mentioned that the appeal of this album to me was that it wasn't digestible three and a half minute, formulaic tracks. He said "that can often be a problem with a lot of rock/blues music so we spent a lot of time targeting that very issue". They succeeded. There is a progressive element to their music, and it gives the listener something new to hear on each spin. As a result, I would be doing this band a disservice writing a lazy review. Through the rest of this review, I will give you a detailed account of each song track by track.

"When A Good Dog Goes Bad"

The album opens by punching you straight in the nose with a nasty overdriven guitar riff. The percussion parts in the intro are very true to the bands name as it sounds as if you are surrounded by snakes and buzzing insects. This track is equal parts southern rock and funk. Their contemporaries Bishop Gunn described their own music as rock n' soul. This song would fit right into that genre. Lyrically it is very ominous and brings forward a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde style narrative with the empahsis on Mr. Hyde. Just as you are ready to dive fully into the mood of the song and drink the potion, the music opens up into a spacey, psychadelic interlude. There are parts of this record where Palmiero's guitar playing has a very Mike Einzinger style, effects driven guitar palate. This is where you get the first note of that style. After the interlude the song goes back into that nasty riff that drives the song.

This is where the band showcases their rhythm. While the rock n' soul element is still there, it is punctuated by Waylon Jenning- esque down beat rhythm. I would say this is the most dance worthy track on the album. I feel like sonically it would fit very nicely on Aerosmith's 1974 release, Get Your Wings. If I had one suggestion for the band, it would be to add some horns if they ever go back and record it. It just has that very jazzy, dancy feel to it. The guitar solo on this one is tonally very Joe Perry without sacrificing his own unique style.

"Take Care of Me"
Okay. Every young band that is inspired by 1970s rock n' roll has to hear the following line ad nauseum: "Hey man. This reminds me of Led Zeppelin". I think this the closest the band comes to Led Zeppelin, and the drums are very reminiscent of John Bonham (which is always a good thing), but I think leaving it at Led Zeppelin would be short- sighted. I hear Son House and Charlie Patton amplified through tube amps on this one. The vocal line definitely has the feel and subject matter of early delta blues. The melody is absolutely infectious. I have found myself over the past few weeks singing this one as I go through my daily routine. My favorite part of this songs comes near the end of the song. The rhythm section is absolutely on point as flanged and sporadically panned guitar cuts above the beat.


If you only listen to one song on this album, you are a moron. If you are that moron, please pick "Tired". Your IQ will jump 20 points, and you will listen to the rest of the album. This isn't just my favorite song on this album, it is among the best songs I have heard this year. While "Take Care of Me" took its inspiration from delta blues, this one travels to the east and takes its roots from the Mississippi hill country. "Mississippi" Fred McDowell, R.L. Burnside, and L.C. Ulmer's music lives on as the boys from Magnolia Bayou perfect the hypnotic boogie. They pull you in and out of the trance and give the song life with smart dynamic decisions. They employed the services of New Orleans session musician Nick Necaise on the hammond b3 organ, and the organ solo on this one is absolutely other- worldly. Before that interlude, Palmiero cleverly employs his MXR carbon copy delay to build into a dirty classic rock style solo over the top of the boogie. The world will be a better place when this song is released.

"Spider On the Wall"

This song is placed perfectly in the center of the album. Often times, bands will take this type of song and put it at the end. I think they made the right decision here as it separates the theme of the album nicely. Musically this one is atmospheric and has a cinematic, horror feel. Lyrically, I wouldn't be surprised if Fulton went down to St. Louis cemetery and conjured the spirit of Jim Morrison. The vocals are spoken word free verse poetry that hits on some pretty heady, existential topics. Estes is on the top of his game on this track as his bass parts weave in and out of the progressions, and Palmiero's frentic, all over the place guitar lines play the part of the spider crawling around the wall. I am highly arachnophobic, so part of me hates this song. I just hope the last cymbal crash symbolizes the business end of a shoe.

"Fairies Wear Boots"
I am a huge fan of The Sword, and this song reminds me of something that could be on Warp Riders. True to its stoner metal roots, this one takes you on a trip. Seriously, in the lyrics the narrator is trying to convince you that he saw a fairy wearing boots. The muffled, echo effect on the vocals is a nice touch in accomplishing this mood. Musically, this is their "War Pigs". Clayton's drums are fantastic on this album, but this one is where I think he is at his best. He knows exactly when to serve the song in the pocket while becoming a dexterity wizard when the band gives him the center stage. During the interlude, if you close your eyes and forget what date is on the calendar, you will think you are listening to Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler swapping parts.

"Mr. Green"
While the blues influences on this album are anchored in Mississippi, this track gives you a little taste of Texas blues/rock. I love how the acoustic and electric guitar parts play off of each on this song. The organ is back, but this time it is more subtle adding nice flourishes and textures throughout the song. When the song reaches the instrumental progression, the band crosses the border and spur their horses into a full gallop. The latin- influenced interlude complete with fantastic percussion parts opens into the best guitar solo on the album as Palmiero gives us Carlos Santana's sustained, legato and Stevie Ray Vaughn's attack. The song then effortlessly transitions back into the chorus.

"Long Damn Ride"
I would like to personally thank this band for capturing the mood of my home state of Mississippi both lyrically and sonically in this autobiographical track. This state may be ranked last in multiple economic categories, but we rank first in intangibles like fantastic music, hospitality, relaxed atmosphere, and good looking women. There is a certain populist element of the blues, and these guys get that. They truly have "the blues in [their] blood" as the song boldly proclaims. They are back to their rock n' soul root on this one. It is the perfect anthem to complete an incredibly solid freshman studio effort.

The band will be playing an album release party at Murky Waters Gulfport on Friday, May 25, 2018 at 8:00 pm. The show is sold out, but there are tickets remaining at the door on a first come, first serve basis. I suggest you break out your tent and camp out for this one, because while I am very impressed with their record, they are even better live. The eponymous album will be released to the world on May 29, 2018. Do yourself a favor and go to Itunes, search Magnolia Bayou, and pre- order this record. Seriously, do it. You can come back later and thank me in the comment section. - Richie Rex Reviews


Still working on that hot first release.



Initially formed as a garage band between friends, they got their start on the local bar circuit after they auditioned for a gig at an open jam at Murky Waters Blues Club in Downtown Ocean Springs, MS. After playing three explosive songs back to back, they were immediately booked for a gig of their own at the Murky Waters in Gulfport, MS where they played to a packed house. Since then, they’ve spent the last three years paying their dues up and down the Mississippi Blues Trail and surrounding states.

In three shorts years, Magnolia Bayou has been nominated in five separate categories for the MS Music Awards, including a write up in Hattiesburg, MS-based DIME magazine, given radio play in the Netherlands and was interviewed by Ireland Based Bourbon FM for a documentary about Music in the Southeastern US.

In April 2017, Magnolia Bayou began professionally recording their debut album. In May 2018, they released their album to a sold out crowd at Murky Waters blues club, in their hometown of Gulfport, MS. The album includes nuances of southern, psychedelic, funk and blues-based Rock n Roll. Listeners describe their look and sound as a throwback to the late 60’s and early 70’s when Rock N Roll was “epic”.  

Magnolia Bayou is an independent group that self-funded and produced this debut album. It was recorded at Music Shed Studios in New Orleans, LA.

With the release, there has been positive reverberation among their rapidly growing and diverse fan base.

Band Members