Forged in the heart of a Mississippi swamp, Magnolia Bayou’s sound is appropriately reminiscent of the golden age of Rock N Roll, and it is simultaneously flavored with a heavy, southern swagger that is distinctively theirs. Their bluesy aura can be traced back to the group’s origins, where they submerged and steeped themselves in their home state’s profound, musical wealth; covering the likes of Robert Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Son House and so many more.
Like their musical forefathers, the band spent three years blazing
their way through juke joints along the Mississippi Blues trail, before independently recording their debut album in 2018. After it’s release, they spent the next two years extensively touring the surrounding south, traveling as far as the midwest and the pacific northeast. In that time, they’ve supported many acts such as Whiskey Myers, Wet Willie, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Fantastic Negrito, Tyler Childers, Ian Moore, Aaron Lewis, Bishop Gunn & Black Stone Cherry.
In May of 2019, Magnolia Bayou set out to record their follow up album, Strange Place, at Natchez Sound Studio with Bishop Gunn’s very own Burne Sharp at the helm. The record is now available everywhere. “Echoes of The Rolling Stones, Hendrix & early Aerosmith that come roaring out of your speaker... Strange Place is a transcendent blast of Rock & Roll with Southern Swagger and by any measure, Magnolia Bayou is one of the most crucial bands blowing up in the USA right now.”
Jason Yarrow of Tru Rock Revival Magazine throws down 15 unedited and uncensored questions with the band.
By Jason Yarrow, October 1, 2020
TRR: Hi guys. This is going to rapid fire questioning. Let's get this thing rolling! What is the origin of your band’s name? What are some other names you tossed around before settling on your current band name?
MB: We really wanted a name that tells where and what we come from. There really wasn’t other names that we were trying to decide on. Once we put Magnolia Bayou together it just kinda rolled off the tongue.
TRR: Who are the players?
MB: Me, Josh Estes - Bass, Dylan Palmiero - Lead Guitar, Cedric Feazell - Drums, Andrew Fulton- Rhythm Guitar and Vocals
TRR: Alright. Now that we've all been introduced. How did all of you meet? Any interesting stories here?
MB: I grew up with Dylan and Drew. Dylan was in my grade and Drew was best friends with my older brother. But I really got to know Dylan my senior year in jazz band. Started hanging out with him and our former drummer outside of school and started jamming. Before long we felt like we really needed some vocals to round it all off. That’s how Drew got in the picture.
TRR: How would you classify your music? (rock, hard rock, metal, post-grunge, southern rock, etc.)
MB: I would say Mississippi rock and roll.
TRR: What do you think makes your band stand out from others?
MB: We have a sound that I feel stands out of the crowd, because we cross many genres without really trying to. You can hear where we come from through our music.
TRR: Over the past few decades, rock music has been the “red headed step-child”, rarely even mentioned on award shows like the Grammys, which has become very irrelevant. Do you feel that rock is starting to climb the ladder again?
MB: Well, being a red head myself, I find it better to stand out from the crowd than to fit in. And I do feel that rock is definitely starting to climb and someone has to grab the torch. Why not us?
TRR: Who are some of your musical influences?
MB: Chris Stapleton, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin.
TRR: How do you write your songs? Is it a collaborative effort?
MB: For the most part it is a collaborative effort. Sometime Drew brings a song and we fill in with what is needed in it. But for the most part, someone writes a riff or lick and we build around it. Then Drew takes it home and writes to it.
TRR: Speaking of collaborative, if you could get together with any band or musician to record a song together, who would that be?
MB: I would love to collaborate with Chris Stapleton. Great lyricist and great song writer.
TRR: What other bands would you like to tour with?
MB: Black Stone Cherry, Whiskey Myers, Black Crowes, Marcus King
TRR: What is your most memorable show, good or bad?
MB: I remember one show that went from great to terrible real quick. We were opening up for Fantastic Negrito and everything was going smoothly. Then all of a sudden the kick drum head busted and we had no back up. We had to stop the show one song in and it was so embarrassing!
TRR: Well, that sucks. Kinda like walking into a grocery store these days and forgetting your mask at home. You drive all the way there, walk in, grab a loaf of bread from your shopping list and the manager tells you to leave because you don't have a mask on.
MB: There you go!
TRR: What would be your dream show?
MB: A show at Red Rocks is a dream of mine. Been there. Can’t imagine being on that stage looking up at people.
TRR: What has been your craziest fan interaction?
MB: I had an awesome fan gift me a bass for my birthday. That shit made my year!
TRR: Nice fan. What’s on the table for the rest of the year?
MB: For the rest of the year we plan on pushing this album we just released and keep our eyes for so more great opportunities.
TRR: Is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to or thank you to?
MB: Thank you to all the friends and family that have supported us over the years. It’s y’all that are going to make this thing happen.