So what do you get when you put together three super talented women with great voices and musicianship? You get a group whose new CD James is No. 10 on the Americana Music Chart and #1 on the Folk-DJ chart for March! That group would be Red Molly! Individually, they are Laurie MacAllister (vocals,bass,banjo and guitar), Abbie Gardner (vocals,dobro and guitar) and Carolann Solebello (vocals, guitar, bass and mandolin) and together, as they say they make beautiful music. I first heard Red Molly last year when they were playing cuts on The Village on XM Radio from their album Love and other Tragedies and after listening over several weeks I went and downloaded the album and became a fan. All three of the women had careers prior to their forming of Red Molly in 2004. Laurie MacAllister and Abbie Gardner had both released two albums and Carolann Sollebello had released one. (She just released a second in 2009). I listened to albums by all three and enjoyed them but bring their voices and musical talent together and you have something extra special. In an interview on their website they say this about their music:
We play Americana, which includes acoustic music from various traditions; bluegrass, folk, gospel, Appalachian, country, blues, and even a touch of jazz/swing. A key component in all of our songs is the use of three-part vocal harmonies, as well as driving rhythm guitar and Dobro.
Imagine blues, jazz, country and folk fusing together to make Americana music! . The album contains many songs written by artists like Bob Wills “The End of the Line” and Steve Goodman “Lookin’ for Trouble” and Darrell Scott “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”, as well as others including Nanci Griffin and Jonathan Byrd (who I’ve listened to in passing but will now check out again) and two songs by Abbie Gardner “Jezebel” and “Troubled Mind” which were both standouts on my first listen!
Other musicians on the album include Mike Weatherly on upright bass, Jake Armerding on fiddle and Fred Gillen Jr. lends vocal on a great duet on the song “Gulf Coast Highway”
Other standout tracks for me included “Tear My Stillhouse Down”, Poor Boy” and as I look at the track list all of them! While I love the musicianship of all the women I particularly love Abbie Gardner’s dobro playing. Abbie’s father is jazz pianist Herb Gardner and he helps out on the album providing some of his piano prowess on the track “The End of the Line”.
So if you like great harmonies and an Americana mix of folk, blues, jazz, Texas swing and just all around good music check out Red Molly’s new CD James or any of the solo albums of Laurie, Abbie or Carolann and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
Here’s Red Molly performing “Honey on My Grave”