Music Review: ‘Eight Gates’ From The Late Jason Molina

August 13, 2020

When I listen to Jason or his records made with bands Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co., I think of Appalachia, broken hearts, gothic America, snake handlers, and a cantor’s role with congregations.  I also remember the very first MeadowGrass Music Festival in 2009, four years ahead of Molina’s death from complications related to alcoholism, rain pouring into our own cups, kids sliding through the mud pit in front of the stage (no tent yet), where that same man, drunk and lovely,  gifted me with his guitar pick when I told him how beautiful his music was.

This record is personal like that.  Written while self secluded in Italy and then recorded in London around 2008, the songs are minimal and deep.
“Shadow Answers the Wall” trembles with the perfection of his vocals.  “She Says” starts off with a brief conversation in the studio, ending with…”roll me for a few minutes here, see what I get…” followed by 90 seconds of a song that is a portrait of genuine insight into the soul of the woman he’s singing about. 

A terrible loss, but with these last solo recordings shared with us, precious treasure.