Folk crooner Jody Mulgrew has been kicking around the coast of California, writing and performing beautiful and memorable songs for the better part of twenty years.
His new album, Toyota Dolphin, is filled with lyrical vignettes of the places he’s lived and the things he’s seen and experienced: lonely times in Nashville, the painful self awareness that comes from the ending of a long relationship, the lure and promise of California’s beaches and coast, or the high cost of living in a coastal town that pushes out more people than it lets in.
Musically, Toyota Dolphin spins like a folk rock record, drawing sonic comparisons to Simon and Garfunkel and solo Tom Petty. However, as with his previous albums, it’s Jody Mulgrew’s melodies and mellifluous tenor voice that beckon the listener in for the deeper listen.
Jody Mulgrew grew up in coastal Morro Bay, California, and as a child was drawn to the melodies he heard on the radio and the voices who sang them. Voices like: Linda Rondstadt, Madonna, Dan Fogleberg, and Lou Gramm.
He received his formal musical training in high school and college choirs, a cappella and vocal jazz ensembles, and received a degree in classical voice. During his final semester of college he bought a Martin guitar with student loan money, and started hitting the coffeeshops of Southern California, playing original folk and americana songs. He soon formed The Johnny Starlings, and recorded two albums worth of eclectic old-time inspired acoustic music with the outfit before releasing a solo album in 2011.
Mulgrew has since recorded five albums on his own, and garnered recognitions like a 2012 Award of Excellence from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. At the 2022 New Times Music Awards Mulgrew was awarded Best Songwriter for his song “Phony Gibson”, the first single off of his new album.