John Magnuson releases his first solo album Barely Noticeable on love and loss and feeling barely noticeable.
While this is John’s first solo release, it’s not his first rodeo. John was front man of The Carpetbaggers, a honkytonk band of some notoriety in the 1980s and 1990s. From Minneapolis, they gained a following, tried touring, then got tapped to tour with Son Volt and toured more successfully. Their following maintained but the band eventually ran its course.
Fast forward a few years, and John is in Minneapolis looking to get back into music. He meets local musicians, such as Becky Kapell, who connects him with Paul Bergen, who was a Carpet Bagger fan and that gets the ball rolling to the release of the latest, first solo work. A truly homegrown highlight of the Minnesota Americana scene.
It’s a thoughtful and sardonic album. We learned how deeply the ideal of barely noticeable goes back for John. Turns out he is a caboose kid with siblings quite a bit older than he is. Those caboose kids are often barely noticeable in the best way. They get on with things. They don’t need approval. They do what they want because they don’t think anyone will notice.
However, musician is a strange profession for someone whose comfort level is flying under the radar. It seems that John’s drive to make music surpasses the comfort of invisibility. It was inspiring to hear how that drive can push a person forward, to get out of the comfort zone to make things happen. We thank him for it. The album looks at loss, especially romantic loss. It’s clever with theme of birds and hints of the Beatles. Spoiler alert – John’s working on a follow up, which is apparently the meaner version of Barely Noticeable. I can’t wait for that.
You can get the album now in all of the usual places. We’re waiting for an opportunity for a COVID-compliant CD release show!