By Whitney Pastorek
August 04, 2009 at 09:21 PM EDT

Several years ago at SXSW, I was minding my own business in the backyard of Stubb’s when a Mason Jennings set started, and I was damn near trampled to death as every other woman in the joint made a squealing beeline for the stage. Women ran, sloshing beers be damned, to be closer to the man with the acoustic guitar. I guess that makes him “dreamy folk singer-songwriter Mason Jennings.”

Time to get excited, ladies: For Blood of Man — due Sept. 15 from Jack Johnson’s dreamy folk label, Brushfire Records — Mason Jennings has plugged in. I rarely quote from bio copy, but Jennings wrote this himself about the decision to go electric, and it’s actually quite evocative:

“It all kinda started at Christmas when my sons and I were hanging ornaments on the tree.  We have an ornament that is a little electric guitar and my six-year-old son was looking at it and asked, “What’s this, Dad?”  I said, “What??? It’s an electric guitar.” To which he replied, “What’s that?” Well, I was kinda horrified so I ran downstairs and pulled out an old hollowbody electric (my wife’s) and an amp and I came upstairs, plugged it in and ripped into “My Generation” by The Who. My one son actually climbed me in point-2 seconds and leaped off my shoulders while the other one looked like I had plugged the lights on the tree into him. They flew around the room dancing for two straight wonderful hours. I got the point. I grew up playing only electric and it was like remembering how to be free. For many reasons, it was so needed. So I got free.”

We’re streaming “The Field,” a song about parenting in wartime. The electric guitar on this track reminds me a bit of early Liz Phair. It’s not that far from the acoustic sound Jennings made his name on, actually. Just… louder.

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What do you think, Mixers? Still dreamy?

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Watch Modest Mouse’s new Heath Ledger-directed video

Ramona Falls: An exclusive stream

Ray LaMontagne is going on tour. And green!