Jason Molina’s Blues: The Making Of Songs: Ohia’s Didn’t It Rain

Jason Molina led not just one, but two careers in music. The Ohio-born singer-songwriter was both the soulful frontman of a rock and roll band, and an evocative poet behind some of the most haunting indie folk songs of the last 20 years. That voice — weathered and ragged, or hushed and gentle — belonged to the same artist, but depending on which side of the Magnolia Electric Co. divide you’re listening, often guided dramatically different sounds. Yet Molina didn’t take on a new sound without perfecting the one that came before it. Just a year before retiring the long-running Songs: Ohia with an unexpectedly loud, Crazy Horse-inspired album of rockers, Molina would come to deliver what may very well be the greatest album to bear the Ohia name: Didn’t It Rain. Molina had spent the previous five years releasing album after album of chilling, understated and bluesy folk records on the Secretly Canadian label, beginning with 1997’s Songs: Ohia — the second-ever full-length released on the Bloomington, Indiana label, after The Japonize Elephants’ Bob’s Bacon Barn. Ben Swanson, who co-founded the label with his brother Chris — along with Eric Weddle and Jonathan Cargill — said Secretly Canadian’s relationship with Molina was…

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