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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 319
Fri, Nov 30, 2012

“Magnolia Mountain”
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals

2005

“♫ Steady
my soul and
ease my worry/
hold me when
I rattle like a
hummingbird
humming / tie
me to the rocks
on the mountain
my savior
made
♫”

I fully never realized, until today, how integral Catherine Popper was to The Cardinals sound with Ryan Adams until I truly listened to “Magnolia Mountain” turned up to eleven with headphones on. You can clearly hear Catherine’s lovely voice in the mix. I never noticed it before, it clicked, when Catherine Popper left the band, days of The Cardinals backing Ryan Adams were numbered.

Ryan Adams comments to The Sun UK, supports my theory of Catherine’s importance to The Cardinals when he explained, “And I loved being in that band with Catherine Popper — she was amazing. She was my good friend and I love her playing. The band were balanced because of Cat. I could never have made Cold Roses (his 2005 first album with The Cardinals), one of my favorite records, without Catherine.

Popper was more than just another bird in the Cardinals, her voice and sweet demeanor not only kept the band balanced but Catherine was the inspiration for some of Ryan Adams best penned songs from Cold Roses when he said, “I’ve never told anyone this and it’s great to tell someone finally — but Catherine’s character in a loving way was the inspiration for the character Rose in all my tunes. She was the key. So when she split (in 2006), it was really difficult for me. We carried on because we had to. I had made a commitment to shows and records but my heart wasn’t in it. By the time we got to (2008’s) Cardinology I was writing songs for the band. “I wasn’t being true to myself,” he says of the last few years with The Cardinals. “I loved that band.””

Thank you once again Let It Ride for the inspiration. Every day when I look out of my office window and see the view from the mountains in Monrovia it reminds me of my favorite song from Cold Roses. Today, because I truly love this song, we honor the beautiful muscle that is Catherine Popper, the heart of the Cardinals, reclaiming the glorious peak of “Magnolia Mountain” for the glory that is you.

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