Magnolia Summer

Magnolia Summer

 St. Louis, Missouri, USA
BandRockAmericana

Haling from St. Louis, Missouri, the music of Magnolia Summer swirls and lurches, meanders and stutters, dips and dives. It is a music rooted in pop forms, with melodic verses and choruses, yet not a music that sounds like anything familiar. - St. Louis Post Dispatch

Biography

Magnolia Summer is a St. Louis-based rock band that has a rolling cast of members who also do double time in other bands (such as Grace Basement, The Linemen, and the Bottle Rockets). Centered around singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist, Chris Grabau, Magnolia Summer has released two previous records (via Undertow) to critical acclaim. Over the years, Magnolia Summer has toured throughout the midwest, showcased in SXSW and CMJ. They have shared the stage with Cracker, The Minus 5, Grant Lee Philips, Glen Kotche, Bobby Bare Jr., The Court and Spark, Robyn Hitchcock, Ken Stringfellow, Marah, Richmond Fontaine, the Bottle Rockets, Will Johnson, and Glossary.

Lines From The Frame is the first recording the band has completed in an outside studio. The band solicited help of acclaimed engineer, Jason McEntire at Sawhorse Studios (Son Volt, Ha Ha Tonka, Ludo, Destiny's Child). This time, Magnolia Summer expanded its sonic palette to include pedal steel and strings with friends Dave Anderson (Tenement Ruth) and Kevin Buckley (Grace Basment). Glossary's Kelly Kneiser also lends backing vocals on a couple of tracks. The end result is a sound more direct and expansive than any other outing to date.

In addition to Frame, you can also hear Magnolia Summer on the upcoming "Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs For 43 US Presidents;" a 3-CD compilation that features music by Mark Kozelek, Califone, Rosie Thomas, Bill Callahan, Xiu Xiu, Radar Bros., and Alan Sparhawk. The compilation is scheduled to be released in September 2008. Magnolia Summer contributed on the song, "William McKinley: Czolgosz's Dream."

With a strummy Americana sound somewhere between Son Volt and the Pernice Brothers, these songs slowly grow on you. Grabau's vulnerable, barely whispered vocals perfectly convey the music's delicate and intimate strokes (Hal Horowitz, ALLMUSIC).

Lyrics

Director

Written By: Chris Grabau - Magnolia Summer

the office director on holiday
left the comptroller to work through the pay
while the assistants are finding a way
of shouldering works loads
and staying too late

always in motion, for the promotion

it came from receiving
a note from the state
pulled the receipts
and left nothing to waste
meanwhile in the mailroom
an envelope waits
harboring secrets he meant to display

always in motion, for the promotion

To Better Days

Written By: C. Grabau (2008 Barrowlettermusic, BMI)

Sometimes its an even score
sometimes its a guess
holding down the fort with a knowing board
and an eye
painted to the wreck

oh, I see a longer climb ahead

It's been a long time but We've seen it before
Always on to the next
This call to arms is cause for alarm
But this time, give it some rest

oh, I see a longer climb ahead

Diminished Returns

Written By: C. Grabau (2008 Barrowlettermusic, BMI)

Its a slow race to the end
reminds us where to begin
your fail safes are too intense
its a harder line to bend, for now

If I could find a way
to repeat this feeling from day to day
where its alright to say
she loves you any way

Sometimes, it works out in the end

Crossed that path before
run the ruts down too the core
left behind the wars
they're not worth fighting for - for now.

Sometimes, it works out in the end

Birds Without a Wire

Written By: C. Grabau (2008 Barrowlettermusic, BMI)

Why does it have to be
somewhere between - most anything
caught on a bended knee
like tree frost on the limbs
in january

at the point of the break
we can call it our mistake
feels like, feels like we're burning

too easy to erase
the ribbon from the race
feels like, feels like we're burning

Across the interstate
the road on beneath and held out weight
road signs illiunminate
some kind of will most temporary

like birds without a wire
holding off to face the fire
feels like, feels like we're burning
with every marker mile
just a line to place denial
feels like, feels like we're burning
held down by the hearts of our yearning

like birds without a wire
holding off to face the fire
feels like, feels like we're burning
no chance or point of returning
feels like, feels like we're burning
held down by the hearts of our yearning
feels like, feels like we're burning

Discography

The Line From the Frame (undertow - 2008)
From Driveways' Lost View (undertow - 2006)
Levers and Pulleys (undertow - 2003)

Set List

All set lists feature tracks from the bands' catalog. Several unrecorded songs are often included. A few obscure covers make their way into the set list from time to time.

pushing the needle too hard
summer moon
wish you well
once in awhile
at least for now
your brightest consolation
director
the passing days
words for the war
sum of all fears
wrong chords
epitaph
general dares
standing still
pulling phase to ground
lost in the way
habitrail
palindrome
sink or swim
unlock the door
loose change
weathering
short wave decline
like setting suns
ribbon from the race
the line from the frame
epitaph
to better days
rangeline
diminished returns
by your side