Jason Molina's long dark blues

Christopher Dilts
Nearly two years ago, I set out to write a story about Jason Molina. If you're not familiar with him, Jason was a prolific songwriter who founded both Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. and became a major influence in modern Americana (Avett Brothers, Band of Horses, Glen Hansard, and just about every artist on Secretly Canadian's roster). He helped pave the road for many musicians, but never received the recognition he deserved.

For all Jason offered the world as an artist, he struggled with alcoholism and depression. He died in March 2013. He was 39. Two months before he died, I exchanged a few emails with him about the story. He wasn't ready to talk. I never talked to him.

Since his death, I've been working on telling the largely untold story on his life, songwriting, alcoholism, and death. That process has included more than 40 interviews, multiple trips throughout the Midwest, and countless hours writing the piece. And it's finally out today with the Chicago Reader, my first piece for my hometown alt-weekly.

You can read the full 7,000-word story here.
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