Another Great Review for Steel Magnolia's Performance at The Mint

Live Review: Steel Magnolia at The Mint (9/21/10)

Sep 24.10 by @willfrankkiker


Steel Magnolia

People are usually surprised to learn that I listen to country music – almost daily (since I’m immersed in indie rock and electronica and have a mohawk) – but I’m a small town Texas boy at heart and Country music is in my blood. So I jumped at the chance to see one of the genre’s hottest new acts, Steel Magnolia, at The Mint this past Tuesday night for an intimate, stripped-down acoustic (sold out) show.

Starting with “Ooh La La”, off their self-titled debut EP, the chemistry between Megan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones was instantly palpable, which is always magnetic to see play out on stage like many other Country couples (Johnny Cash & June Carter, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, etc.). That energy continued through the set, which included many songs off their upcoming debut LP (release date 1/11/11), like “Homespun Love”, which reminded me of The Judds, and “Glass Houses”, a great song Joshua wrote when he was a struggling singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles.

Then… a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Mother”. What? That’s right – during the middle of the song, Joshua told a story about picking up the latest Rolling Stone, with Roger Waters on the cover, and being inspired for the nights set list, which he wrote on its pages. They’d only learned it the night before, so we weren’t treated to the whole song. But what we did get to hear was quite stellar.

More strong tracks followed – the beautiful “Edge of Goodbye” (the first song they ever wrote together), a song about hooking up that Joshua branded “John Mayer Country” titled “Last Night Again”, that I think could be a big hit for them, as well as the heart-wrenching ballad “Without You” that was written about a trying period in their relationship. Then of course, their two hit singles “Keep On Lovin’ You” and “Just By Being You (Halo & Wings)” had the audience singing along.

I have to admit, I only know Steel Magnolia’s songs from hearing them in heavy rotation on LA’s Go Country 105.1 FM and had no idea they won CMT’s Can You Duet until this week. Regardless of how you feel about reality shows, Steel Magnolia is true talent – Joshua’s songwriting skill is as concise as it is honest and Megan’s voice, like a blend of Wynonna Judd, Stevie Nicks, and Joni Mitchell, cuts straight to the heart (a perfect weapon for this genre). They get extra kudos from me for their stellar covers of Dwight Yoakam’s “Fast as You”, Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, Johnny Cash & June Carter’s “Jackson” (Wow!), and Waylon Jennings “Lonesome, On’ry & Mean” (which was apparently their first encore ever.)

Keep an eye on this band. I fully expect them to follow in the footsteps of recent Country Pop successes like Lady Antebellum.