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Jason Molina

singer-songwriter Alt-country folk seen live indie

Jason Molina (December 16, 1973 – March 16, 2013) was an American musician and singer-songwriter, originally from Lorain, Ohio. After playing bass guitar in various heavy metal bands in and around Cleveland, Molina made the decision to become a solo artist under an assumed band name, recruiting other musicians for each individual project as needed. He came to prominence performing and recording as Songs: Ohia, both in solo projects and with a rotating cast of musicians. Since 2003, he had recorded either under his own name or with a stable line-up of band members as the Magnolia Electric Co..

He developed a method of tuning his guitar that complemented his voice and worked with his background as a bass player. Finding his niche in circles, Molina made home recordings under the names 'Songs: Albian', 'Songs: Radix', and 'Songs: Unitas' to pass out at live shows. Settling on 'Songs: Ohia', Molina released a single on Palace Records in 1996. The first 'Songs: Ohia' full-length followed in 1997; released on the Secretly Canadian label.

By 2001, Molina had given his tenor guitar a rest in favor of a regular six-string instrument and had put together a full band to back him. However, 2002's Didn't it Rain saw Molina working with members of outfit Jim & Jennie & the Pinetops, achieving an almost sound that was a vast departure from the dense feel of Ghost Tropic. Constantly recording and writing new songs, Songs: Ohia released a handful of singles and EPs in 2002, including a split EP with Louisville's My Morning Jacket and a collaborative EP (under the name Amalgamated Sons of Rest) with Will Oldham and Alasdair Roberts. Pyramid Electric Co. and Magnolia Electric Co., originally conceived as a double album, were released separately in early 2003. The former, a sparse solo album, was recorded with Mike Mogis (from Lullaby for the Working Class) while the latter featured a full band and was recorded by Steve Albini.

Jason Molina died, at age 39, on 18. March 2013 from complications of alcoholism.

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