home | magnolia mountain | bulletville | mark utley | gigs | listen | buy | press + photos | lyrics
music for the mountains | this is american music (label) | facebook | twitter | reverbnation | contact



- Nothing As It Was
2010 - Redbird Green
2012 - Town and Country
2013 - Beloved

- Vocals, Guitar
RICKY NYE - Piano and Organ


Powerful, soulful, and rootsy, Cincinnati, Ohio's MAGNOLIA MOUNTAIN embraces and explores "That Midwestern Thing" in a big-tent-Americana juggernaut that draws from rock, southern soul, folk, country, bluegrass, blues, and rockabilly. But no matter where they take it, "they have the rare ability to inhabit any branch of Roots music and still sound unmistakably like Magnolia Mountain." (Brian Baker, CityBeat).

Magnolia Mountain have released four albums (including two double albums) between 2009 and 2013. They were nominated for Cincinnati Entertainment Awards every year from 2008 to 2014 (including four nominations in 2010: Artist of the Year, Album of the Year [for Redbird Green], Best Folk/Americana act, and Best Singer/Songwriter [Mark Utley]), in addition to performing at the 2009 CEA awards ceremony. Mark was also nominated for Singer/Songwriter in 2013 and 2014 and performed along with Renee Frye at the 2013 CEA awards ceremony. Along with performing at venues as the Southgate House, Madison Theater, Northside Tavern, The Comet, Leo Coffeehouse and The Crow's Nest, they’ve also taken part in festivals such as Twangfest 14 (in St. Louis), the Whispering Beard Folk Festival, MidPoint Music Festival, Rabbit Hash Old Timer's Day, Northside Music Festival, EdenSong, The Ohio River Way Paddlefest, Rivertown Breakdown, Music for the Mountains, and Metamora Music Festival. The band's musical range is evidenced in past live performances with the likes of Ralph Stanley, Sam Bush, Eilen Jewell, Glossary, Birds of Chicago, Jason & the Scorchers, Chatham County Line, Robert Ellis, Shivering Timbers, Wussy, and many others. Magnolia Mountain has also played a Studio 89 session live on WNKU radio and a live session on KDHX-FM in St. Louis. Their 2014 performance at the Queen City Balladeers' 50th Anniversary concert was filmed and has been shown many times on Cincinnati's PBS affiliate WCET.

Their first album, Nothing as it Was, was released in February 2009. CityBeat magazine called it "soulful, haunting and pure, taking the best of Country, Folk and Bluegrass and refracting it through a modern prism. It rings incredibly authentic and timeless, and album that could have come out 40, 30 or 20 years ago but is too lively and crafty to stand as some sort of retro-music museum piece".

In October 2009, the band returned to Ultrasuede Studio with producer John Curley (Afghan Whigs) to begin recording their second album. June 19, 2010 saw the release of Redbird Green, an ambitious 17-song project released on both CD and 2-LP vinyl. Redbird Green was heralded by reviewers as "a master class in Americana" (David Kronke), and "an album that exhibits how great American roots music can be" (Donny Kutzbach, Left of the Dial), while the band itself was praised as being "like The Last Waltz come back to life as one unified band" (Mike Breen, CityBeat).

Much of late 2010 and early 2011 was spent in preparation for Music for the Mountains, a benefit concert (with an accompanying album) that was put together by Magnolia Mountain frontman Mark Utley to raise awareness and funds to help fight against mountaintop removal coal mining. The February 2011 event at the historic Southgate House raised almost $12,000 toward this cause. You can read more about it here. Music for the Mountains 2 (a second benefit concert with a second accompanying compilation album) took place in October 2013. 

In April 2012, a revamped Magnolia Mountain released their third album, Town and Country (their first with label This is American Music). An 18-song double album, Town and Country was once again produced by John Curley at Ultrasuede, and released on both CD and 2-LP vinyl. The album features 16 original songs, including "Shotgun Divorce" (a duet with Bloodshot Records artist Lydia Loveless), as well as two covers: "Don't Leave Just Now" (originally by fellow Cincinnatians Wussy) and "Just to Know What You've Been Dreaming" (written by Centro-matic's Will Johnson). 

Magnolia Mountain's fourth album, Beloved, was released on July 27, 2013. A dark, cohesive collection of eleven shorter, more stylistically-focused songs, the album was described by CityBeat as "a wonderfully dark and driving album that details the various shades of bruising caused by every relationship. The diversity on Beloved comes from the songs themselves, from aching ballads to ballsy rockers, and in their presentation, as Utley occasionally stands down to allow Melissa English and Renee Frye to take the mic and the lead spotlight. Beloved is smolderingly intense even in its quietest moments, positively incendiary when it's amplified and very likely to be the album that takes Magnolia Mountain to the next level". 

On the same night, bandleader Mark Utley also released his debut solo album, Four Chords and a Lie.  Produced by Mike Ingram of The Seedy Seeds, Four Chords contains five songs backed by Utley's honky tonk country band Bulletville, four stripped-down solo tracks and a duet with Renee Frye.

Magnolia Mountain went on a brief hiatus in November 2013 following the loss of a few key members, combined with Utley's decision to focus more on Bulletville. The latest edition of Magnolia Mountain made its debut one year later as part of a show honoring local music icon (and former MM member) David Rhodes Brown's 50th year in show business. The new lineup is currently rehearsing new songs, and are slated to open for old friend Lydia Loveless at the Southgate House Revival in Newport, KY on Sunday, February 15th, 2015.