Red Molly | The Red Album

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Country: Americana Folk: Folk Pop Moods: Type: Vocal
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The Red Album

by Red Molly

Their edgiest CD to date, a wildly cool collection of songs produced by Ken Coomer (Wilco). The Americana/Folk trio takes a distinctive shift towards darkness in the new indie collection, while maintaining their signature three-part harmony; gorgeous!
Genre: Country: Americana
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Clinch River Blues
2:49 $0.99
2. I Am Listening
3:19 $0.99
3. You Don't Have the Heart for It
3:49 $0.99
4. Willow Tree
2:47 $0.99
5. Homeward Bound
3:25 $0.99
6. When It's All Wrong
3:41 $0.99
7. My Baby Loves Me
2:17 $0.99
8. With a Memory Like Mine
3:45 $0.99
9. Sing to Me
3:29 $0.99
10. Pretend
2:14 $0.99
11. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
5:10 $0.99
12. Lay Down Your Burden
3:10 $0.99
13. Copper Ponies
1:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
CD version of ‘The Red Album!"

Red Molly delivers their edgiest CD to date, with a wildly cool collection of songs. Previously perceived as a straightforward three-part harmony Americana/Folk trio, the band takes a distinctive shift towards darkness with the new indie collection. Think ‘Mazzy Star with a twang,’ and you may get a sense of the ethereal, sometimes even unsettling quality the women evoke in the buzzworthy album.

From the haunting opener, ‘Clinch River,’ to the classic vibe of ‘I Am Listening,’ to the cinematic lyrics of ‘Willow Tree’ to the stunning ‘When It's All Wrong’ and ‘Copper Ponies’, ‘The Red Album’ (set for digital release on April 1 and physical release on May 27) is full of meaty, meaningful tracks — ‘Sing to Me’ feels like an ‘adult lullaby’...and the band’s cover of ‘Homeward Bound’ is simply gorgeous...and then of course they switch up the pace completely with ‘Pretend’

The trio, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2014, is comprised of Laurie MacAllister (bass,) Abbie Gardner (dobro,) and Molly Venter (guitar), and they are road warriors who regularly perform 100 or more concerts each year. Over 40 tour dates are already confirmed for the months ahead, and more will be announced soon. An itinerary follows.

The upcoming CD marks the trio’s first Nashville-produced album with Ken Coomer (original drummer for Wilco & Uncle Tupelo). Coomer shook things up sonically, putting Abbie Gardner's dobro through effects for a few songs. He also had Molly Venter use six different guitars on the album - including an electric. Guest artist, bassist Craig Akin funked things up as well – and the overall result is a grittier sonic landscape, juxtaposed with Red Molly's signature pristine three-part harmonies. Coomer also pushed for more original material than previous records -- eight original songs made the cut; four written by Venter & four by Gardner. The band also continues their long tradition of honoring other songwriters, with MacAllister on lead vocal for four covers, including Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Homeward Bound'. Plus, after years of fan requests, the band recorded their namesake song ‘1952 Vincent Black Lightning,’ by Richard Thompson.

Red Molly has been featured by American Songwriter, No Depression, Bluegrass Unlimited and more. They have an engaged, supportive fan base and regularly sell out venues ranging from Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA to City Winery in NYC. The trio toured Australia & Denmark in 2013, and are headed to Ireland & the UK in 2014.



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Red Album Takes It to the House!
“Red Album” puts on full display Red Molly’s instrumentalist and vocal talents, mastery of a variety of musical styles, and an appealing mix of original and cover songs. Red Molly may be known as an Americana folk-country band, but these ladies can sing the blues—this is evident in earlier recordings, most notably “Lookin’ for Trouble,” which melts into your soul from their album” James,” and “Come into My Kitchen” from “Light in the Sky” and is evident once again in in “Red Album” in an Abbie Gardner original, “When It’s All Wrong,” featuring edgy lyrics, killer harmonies (as one would expect), and Abbie’s soulful bluesy lead vocals (she is also an accomplished jazz vocalist). Band member Molly Venter adds her considerable song-writing talents to “Red Album” in her lovely ballad about longing for home, “Sing to Me”—if this song doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, then you better get to the ER on the double because you ain’t got no pulse! Another Venter original, “Willow Tree,” distinguishes itself by its lyricism and vivid imagery such as “sudden as a cold front in September” (to which I’m sure people living in the Northeast, the Upper Midwest, or the Northern Rockies can relate). All three band members are superb instrumentalists and blend these talents nicely—Laurie MacAllister lays down a tight bass line that anchors each song and Molly Venter adds energetic rhythm guitar. Abbie Gardner brings her signature dobro-playing style, which makes her stand out from the crowd (a “crowd” that includes such powerhouse dobro players as Jerry Douglas). I am especially pleased that Red Molly sings an a cappella number, “Copper Ponies,” another Abbie Gardner original, which highlights their unrivaled mastery of vocal harmonies. In contrast, “Clinch River Blues” rocks out with an energetic driving beat, dark lyrics, and thrilling vocal harmonies “Red Molly” originals are so good that I almost wish they would write more of their own songs, except that their covers are also-o-o-o good, including a most welcome and lovingly-rendered cover of Simon and Garfunkle’s “Homeward Bound,” featuring Laurie MacAllister singing lead (don't miss their beautifully filmed, artfully-rendered video featuring this song on their official website). As much as I enjoy all the songs on “Red Album,” I will talk about just one more, the long-awaited cover of Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” where the band’s name originated based on a character in the song, named Red Molly, and featuring all three band members singing lead. I wonder why it took so long for Red Molly to sing and record this song. Sure, Del McCoury and Richard Thompson turn in masterful performances in their versions, but Red Molly does it their way, in their own distinctively identifiable style, and they take it to the house! I recommend “Red Album” in particular and Red Molly, in general, in the strongest possible terms. Yet, for all that, I cannot close without also putting in a good word about the band’s live performances, which I have been lucky enough to experience (the operative word is "experience") three times—on stage, Red Molly conveys the pure joy of performing live music and the band has charismatic and charming stage presence characterized by witty bantering between songs as well as spirited performances. In short, Red Molly is one of the best and most underrated bands I’ve ever heard. I therefore have to wonder why the acclaim they’ve received is not more widespread, including Grammy nominations for Grammy-worthy efforts such as “Red Album” and “James.” Yet Red Molly does not need celebrity, fame, and large arenas—they do very well performing in intimate theater settings and cultivating a loyal, passionate fan base known as “Redheads”(whose like reminds me of the “Deadheads,” that wild and crazy fan base that followed the Grateful Dead everywhere). Enjoy! How can you do otherwise?


What a lovely surprise
I just discovered this band, and I love this cd! Great vocal harmonies, playful at moments (Pretend) and beautifully dark in others (Clinch River). Fantastic