Jason Molina died over the weekend. He was just 39 years old. He was exactly the type of artist this blog was started to promote - smart songwriter, edgy, unpretentious, hard to categorize but rooted in Americana and rock'n'roll, outside the mainstream.
Molina grew up in Lorain, Ohio. He attended Oberlin College. In was insanely prolific. In just 15 years, he released 19 LP's and 7 EP's. Most of them were released under the band name Songs:Ohia, which then morphed into Magnolia Electric Co.
His peers were Will Johnson, Jim James, Glen Hansard, and in a bigger sense Neil Young.
I never met Jason Molina and only know a few of those 19 LP's, but liked what I heard a great deal. I don't know exactly how he died, but news articles from today mention organ damage, rehab and the like. Academics reading this may chalk it up to yet another example of the Myth of the Romantic Artist, but I don't much care about abstract theory today.
This great songwriter existed in our midst, he made some magical music for us, he suffered, died and was buried. And unfortunately that's the end of the story in one very real sense, though the music lives on.
Here's a taste of what it was all about:
A very fine piece by Stephen Thompson was posted at NPR's site today: Jason Molina a folksinger who embodied the best of the blues has died
His band's official web site is well worth a read. And it's not too late to discover, appreciate, buy and fall in love with Jason Molina's music.