"Like a sculptor who has immense respect for the permanence of the stone but also implicitly trusts his chisel and creative vision, (Mark) Utley shapes the raw material of Americana’s various stylistic permutations into songs that are comfortably familiar yet blazingly original. That ethic was a hallmark of Magnolia Mountain’s last double album, 2010’s "Redbird Green", and it comes into even sharper focus on the band’s third and latest release, the aptly titled "Town and Country"."
"If Magnolia Mountain‘s new album consisted just of Mark Utley’s hot duet with Lydia Loveless on the butt-kicking country rocker “Shotgun Divorce,” and the elegiac bluegrass ballad “The Hand Of Man” about mountain-top removal coal mining in Appalachia, and the band’s devastatingly sad cover of Wussy’s “Don’t Leave Just Now” – it would be enough. But "Town and Country", the sprawling country masterpiece by the Cincinnati octet has 18 tracks and is being released on one long CD or a double-disc vinyl album. Riches untold."
"As millions of pounds of explosives from mountaintop removal strip mining operations continue to devastate historic mountain communities in central Appalachia, a powerful new music video released this week by the beloved American Roots band Magnolia Mountain captures the haunting grief and stories of stricken families in America's cradle of roots and country music. Driven by Mark Utley's banjo licks and Magnolia Mountain's effortlessly haunting and plaintive harmonies, "The Hand of Man" joins the pantheon of classic mountain ballads and mining tunes, including Kentucky legend Jean Ritchie's "Black Waters" and John Prine's timeless paean to his family's demise in western Kentucky to Peabody coal, "Paradise". One of the most popular urban Appalachian bands today, the Cincinnati-based Magnolia Mountain has won a dedicated and growing fan base across the nation as one of the hardest-working, bone-shaking, and original bluegrass, folk, and blues bands on the American Roots circuit."
"There can be few bands as eclectic as Cincinnati eight piece Magnolia Mountain, and fewer still who can actually deliver on such a wide range of styles. Available as a single CD or double vinyl album, "Redbird Green" fuses influences from across the entire palette of American roots, bluegrass, folk and traditional music and adds in some nice harmonies to make an impressively listenable album that pretty much serves as an encapsulation of where Americana is today, at least the more traditional end of the spectrum."
"It’s no small feat for a band to pull off a balance of artful depth, skill, and un-self-consciousness. It’s even more impressive when we are talking specifically about a band from Cincinnati pulling off genuine country music. Magnolia Mountain does it, proving they’re the real deal. Borrowing from the past and spinning it with refreshing originality, the band has crafted "Redbird Green", a double album (available as a digital download, compact disc, and 2-LP vinyl) of spirited, refreshingly warm and genuine Americana that dips deep into country waters, treads hilly bluegrass paths, and brushes the back streets of folk traditions. All in all, this is an album that exhibits how great American roots music can be…so long as it isn’t afraid to dig in to all those different roots in the ground. Fans of the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Band, Gillian Welch, and Steve Earle will find plenty to love in Magnolia Mountain."
“Mark Utley and the amazing band he’s assembled have a knack for crafting something that is both traditional and refreshing. Fans of Roots music old and new will find Magnolia Mountain’s latest one of the more enchanting albums they’ll hear all year.”
"Nothing As It Was" is soulful, haunting and pure, taking the best of Country, Folk and Bluegrass and refracting it through a modern prism.
"Magical country folk, delivered with an elegant energy and intimacy and an almost hovering effect. Gram Parsons and Johnny Cash jammin' on a cloud."