Songs that Strike a Chord — Ryan Adams and The Cardinals’ “Magnolia Mountain”

https://theandybergerblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/ryan-adams-cardinals-curtain-of-lights.jpg

Ryan Adams and The Cardinals 2007, l. – r. Neal Casal, Brad Pemberton, Ryan Adams, Chris Feinstein, and Jon Graboff

Cold Roses is Ryan Adam’s 6th studio album, released on 5/3/05, and his first with The Cardinals as his backing band. A fascination with The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan pointed Adams in a new musical direction, and this band – christened The Cardinals – was conceived as a loose, spacious musical collective. “Magnolia Mountain” is the first track on the album, which has has 18 regular tracks and 3 bonus tracks. However, looking at the lineup on the album I don’t see the configuration in the video.  Noting the liner note on the video says, “Avatar Session,” I went out looking for it.

At The Andy Berger Blog I found out at the video was filmed in New York City’s Avatar Studio and was released as a concert film. Read more about them at the blog, here.

Since there were several incarnations of The Cardinals, I determined to find out who was playing on the Avatar Sessions:
Neal Casal, on lead guitar and vocals. Last week I learned that Neal committed suicide last year, which was extremely depressing to learn about.
Brad Pemberton on drums and percussion
Ryan Adams on vocals and guitar
Chris Feinstein on bass. Chris passed away in 2009, a couple years after this was recorded.
Jon Graboff on steel guitar

What is it about Magnolia Mountain that strikes a chord with me? The guitars and their weaving and waving with each other. How the band members gestalt brings the resonance of heaven to my being.  And oh, the lyrics.  ::sigh of contentment::

I wanna go to Magnolia Mountain
And lay my weary head down, down on the rocks
On the mountain my Savior made

Steady my soul and ease my worry
Hold me when I rattle like a hummingbird hummin’
Tie me to the rocks on the mountain my Savior made

Lie to me, sing me a song
Sing me a song until the morning comes
And if the morning don’t come, will you lie to me
Will you take me to your bed, will you lay me down
Till I’m heavy like the rocks on the riverbed
That my Savior made for us

I wanna be the bluebird singing
Singing to the roses in her yard
The roses in her yard her father grew for her

It’s been rainin’ that Tennessee honey
So long I got too heavy to fly
There ain’t no bluebird ever get too heavy to sing

Lie to me, sing me a song
Sing me a song until the morning comes
And if the morning don’t come, will you lie to me
Will you take me to your bed, will you lay me down
Till I’m heavy like the rocks on the riverbed
That my Savior made for us
Please

[lengthy instrumental with some psychedelic imagery]

We burned the cotton fields down in the valley
And ended up with nothing but scars
The scars became the lessons
That we gave to our children after the war

There ain’t nothing but the truth
Up on the Magnolia Mountain where nobody ever dies
Steady your soul and ease your worry
They got a room for you

Lie to me, like I lie to you
Calm me down until the morning comes
And if the morning don’t come lie to me
Will you take me to your bed, will you lay me down
All heavy like the rocks in the riverbed
That my Savior made for us
Please

For us, for me
For us, for me

Songwriters: Ryan Adams / Bradley Smith Pemberton / Catherine Anne Popper / John P. Bowersock

Some info gleaned from wikipedia

 

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Great choice – I had not heard this tune before and love it! While I covered Adams’ 2017 album “Prisoner,” I don’t know much about this music. This track definitely wants me to further check out the “Cold Roses” album

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It’s stunningly good isn’t it. I just listened to it again 🙂 Not sure where I first heard it but it’s the only tune I know by them. I need to find it as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It really is. With some tunes, I feel it only takes a few bars until you know you dig it. This is one of them, at least for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    Lisa I never heard this before but I just listened to it twice. The guitars are sharp and cut through plus the drummer is fantastic. The harmonizing is something also.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hanspostcard says:

    I like the two Adams albums when he was the frontman for Whiskeytown in the late 90’s and his early solo albums-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Need to learn more about him thanks for the heads up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You might not want to find out some details. He’s got a shady past.

        Like

        1. msjadeli says:

          UGH Woody Allen of the musical world, eh? Maybe he descended into darkness after this song was made. Another good thing tainted.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yep. I have several of his albums but can’t bring myself to listen to him since. Horrible bloke.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Luke Atkins says:

    YES! Love this song so much

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luke Atkins says:

      Speaking of that album, love Sweet Illusions and Easy Plateau as well

      Liked by 1 person

      1. msjadeli says:

        Am going to see if my library system has it.

        Like

  5. Lovely, I’ve never heard this song before. Lovely lyrics xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you heard it and enjoyed it, Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

  6. memadtwo says:

    I like Ryan Adams but I am still uneasy about the allegations of abuse–both sexual and emotional–that a number of women, including his ex-wife Mandy Moore, and Phoebe Bridges, went public with a few years ago. They have never been adequately refuted to my mind. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

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