Memphis on My Mind
Label: Wolf River Records
Release Date: March 23, 2018
After living in San Francisco for several years, Americana singer/songwriter Logan Magness has moved back to his Memphis hometown and will release his debut album, Memphis on My Mind, out March 23 on Wolf River Records, distributed through CEN/The Orchard, a division of Sony Music.
Memphis on My Mind was recorded at Prairie Sun Studios (Tom Waits, The Mountain Goats), in Cotati, California, before his move back to Memphis, utilizing a number of celebrated Bay Area musicians to back his vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica work. Tracked predominantly live and rich with analog tones, the album recalls the warmth and fidelity of garage rock records of yore. “Everything was tracked in five days,” he declares. “I couldn’t afford downtime in the studio anyway. I knew I wanted things to have a live feel, so it was just dialing in the tones and trying to capture the performance. It was a no-frills approach, the last thing I wanted to do was lose sight of the songs.” he adds. The album speaks kindly to those fans of Jason Isbell, Josh Ritter, Ryan Adams and Jeff Tweedy.
Logan Magness was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, a town steeped in musical heritage, and home to some of the most famous recording studios in the world, but it wasn’t until moving to San Francisco after college that Magness became serious about songwriting. A self-taught singer and guitarist with a smooth, shut-up-and-listen tenor, Magness found comfort in the solitude of his tiny studio apartment, “It just happened, like I was struck by something and became obsessed with songs,” he recalls. “I couldn’t stop writing and I fell in love with the craft, how personal it could be. I haven’t listened to music the same since. It’s a blessing and a curse.”
Memphis on My Mind is an introspective look back at his five years spent living in San Francisco, falling both in and out of love with the people and city around him. “The perspective matured as I did, and I think that comes through on the second half of the record,” he says. “The first tracks are self-critical; I was finding out what was important to me and as a result consciously uprooting things that weren’t intended. The narrative unravels and then sort of stitches itself back together by the end. That wasn’t intentional, it was just me; so yeah, it’s personal.”
Memphis on My Mind is inspired songwriting, brooding and intimate yet upbeat, not a word wasted. In Logan Magness, listeners will find a unique and poignant narrative voice beaming with potential. “Lately I find myself constantly breaking down mental barriers,” he states. “Lyrics come to mind and I’ll have this natural inclination to reject them because they may come off too mean or personal. I’ve been able to step back and consciously say to myself, ‘no, that’s exactly what you meant to say.’ It’s a continuous learning process and honestly so rewarding. Being humble in your growth, feeling like you’ve said what you wanted to say and then having that connect with someone else, there’s no better feeling.”
The title track and fitting end of Memphis on My Mind finds Magness coming to terms, taking a step back and realizing a chapter closing. His relocation back to Memphis at the end of 2017 opens the next. “My priorities changed and with that so did my needs,” he summarizes. “I came to the realization that I wouldn’t be happy in life doing anything but music. San Francisco taught me to be myself and I love it for that, but it was time to come home.”