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Abbie Gardner | Wishes on a Neon Sign

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Country: Americana Folk: Singer/Songwriter Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Wishes on a Neon Sign

by Abbie Gardner

Genre: Country: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Once the Teardrops Start to Fall
3:38 $0.99
2. Afraid of Love
3:58 $0.99
3. Bad Leaver
3:51 $0.99
4. Wallflower Days
3:12 $0.99
5. Starting from Scratch
3:23 $0.99
6. Burn Me Down
4:34 $0.99
7. I Can’t Believe
3:01 $0.99
8. Cold Black Water
4:16 $0.99
9. Let It Out
3:39 $0.99
10. My Darkness
4:34 $0.99
11. What Gives You the Right
3:49 $0.99
12. Empty Suit
3:19 $0.99
13. Copper Ponies
1:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Her first solo effort since 2011's Hope, Abbie's newest album Wishes on a Neon Sign, is also her first since taking a hiatus from full-time touring with her band Red Molly. Created in this space of transition, "Wishes" is a soulful examination of love and heartbreak, pain and strength, and the transformative power of hope.

“The record feels like a love letter to NYC” says Gardner. “I love the contrast here- how darkness makes Times Square shine brighter, how New Yorkers can seem so gruff but will help you the instant you fall… And here I am, a contrast myself… a female singer/songwriter playing the dobro, a traditionally male-dominated bluegrass instrument, taking the instrument pretty far from bluegrass and doing it in the city.”

An award winning songwriter and vocalist featured in the Hal Leonard book, Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide, Abbie took her songwriting to a new level on this release. Wishes on a Neon Sign features songwriting collaborations with kind-hearted outlaw Chris Stapleton (the wistful "Bad Leaver"), Nashville regular David Olney (on the deliciously slick "Empty Suit)", and fellow wild-woman Molly Venter (on the deeply true "Cold Black Water"), as well as Abbie-penned-originals resulting from "Real Women, Real Songs”, an all-female songwriting collective. The CD was recorded in Brooklyn and NJ with producer Michael Bellar (Amos Lee, Fred Wesley) at the helm. He brought in NYC drummer Tony Mason (Norah Jones, Joan Osborne), as well as bassist Craig Akin and guitarist Jon Paul Ruggieri. The resulting album is a moving collection of barroom burns and bedroom ballads deeply steeped in folk, blues and country traditions.



to write a review

Lee Zimmerman

Abbie Gardner displays an uncommon versatility on her striking new solo album Wishes on a Neon Sign, her first in nearly seven years and first on her own since taking temporary leave of her longstanding folk ensemble, collectively known as Red Molly.

Spawned from time spent in a meditative mode, it’s a thoughtful attempt to reconcile the disparate threads of her present circumstance and to celebrate where life as led her. She calls it a love letter to New York, but there are no obvious paeans in the vein of, say, Frank Sinatra or Billy Joel. Rather, Gardner carefully expresses her sentiments, and the result is an album that’s both introspective and expressive, with the accessibility factor weighing in heavily on each of its entries. That’s little surprise really, given that Chris Stapleton and David Olney share some co-writing credits -- the sad yet swaying ballad “Bad Leaver” and the bitter and biting “Empty Suit,” respectively. However neither song bests Gardner’s individual entries, and her ability to veer from the funky flourish that underscores “Once the Teardrops Start to Fall,” which happens to be the album’s sole cover, to the slow and easy saunter of “Afraid of Love” is impressive enough. There are other touchstones along the way as well -- the spry jazz-like discourse “What Gives You the Right,” the plaintive plea of “I Can’t Believe,” the sultry vamp that becomes “Burn Me Down,” and the twang and ramble that sparks “Wallflower Days,” among them -- but Gardner, an accomplished dobro and slide guitar player, never allows diversity to become a distraction, choosing instead to bring it all within the umbrella of her signature style.

Gardner proves that wishes can come true, and in this case it matters little whether they become low cast musings or get notched up in neon.