Magnolia Electric Co.

Picking up where his retired "band" Songs: Ohia left off, Jason Molina leads his Magnolia Electric Co. in capturing Big Sky spirit on a live album that snakes through what feels like decades-forged hot licks. Great live albums loom bigger than their source material, and Trials & Errors feels, well, plugged in -- coursing with the energy of a self-assured bar band that, like Neil Young's Crazy Horse, has earned its place on the big stage. In another surely Young-approved tradition, Molina's vocals and guitar dip from weedy and winding to a gruff, bristly growl across ten dense, dizzying, and elegiac songs -- three previously recorded by Songs: Ohia, three that will appear on Magnolia Electric Co.'s upcoming studio album, and four exclusives.

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Tony Ware