Red Molly with special guest Mark Erelli
"Make room, Roches and Wailin' Jennys, Red Molly has earned a place among the elite female trios."
-John Platt, WFUV
If one word describes the new Red Molly CD, Light in the Sky, that word is joyous. Once again, with the "tick-tight arrangements, crystalline vocals and caramel harmonies" that the Boston Globe praised, Red Molly creates an album with gorgeous a cappella ballads, bluegrass-tinged folk and a touch of jazzy western swing, all done up in Red Molly's trademark three-part harmonies, signature dobro licks and inventive arrangements. The title sets the theme for the 14 tracks: optimism, joy, and excitement for the future.
Red Molly knows about optimism and joy. The band's fans, referred to as "RedHeads", have always responded to the sense that the band is a group of friends, sharing songs in their living room. That's exactly how it felt in 2004 when Laurie MacAllister (guitar, banjo, bass), Abbie Gardner (dobro, guitar) and Carolann Solebello (guitar, bass) sat around a campfire at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, singing and talking about their favorite songwriters. Knowing they had stumbled into something extraordinary, they formed Red Molly and spent the next seven years on the road.
From the start, the trio got attention with their lively, engaging stage performances. They moved quickly from NYC coffeehouses to the festival circuit in less than two years, winning notices for their performances at Merlefest, the Philadephia Folk Festival, and NPR's Mountain Stage. Between knocking out audiences from coast to coast, the trio found time to record three albums: Never Been to Vegas in 2006; 2008's Love and Other Tragedies, which spent ten weeks in the Top 15 on the Americana Chart, and 2010's James which logged four months in the Top 40 on the Americana Chart, peaking at #4, and landing at #23 in the year's Top 100. Last year, when founding member Carolann Solebello stepped down, MacAllister and Gardner asked Austin-based singer songwriter and guitarist Molly Venter to join the band. "Molly has a unique, edgy tone to her voice," MacAllister says. "Her sound is a bit pop-oriented, and while it hasn't changed our overall sound, I'd say it's a bit more gutsy, upbeat and modern."
Red Molly are supported by journeyman singer/songwriter Mark Erelli. Discovered at an impromptu 3 am hotel room jam at a music conference when just 23 years old, Mark Erelli finished up a graduate degree in evolutionary biology shortly after his self-titled debut was released in 1999. He has won several prestigious awards, from the Kerrville New Folk contest in 1999 to the 2006 International Song Contest, where a song he co-wrote with Catie Curtis bested 15,000 entries to win the grand prize. For the past 10 years, he has maintained a rigorous, international touring schedule, sharing the stage with Dave Alvin, Gillian Welch, John Hiatt and others, as well appearing at many major folk festivals, including Newport, Philadelphia and Shrewsbury (UK). In recent years, Erelli has gained notoriety as a multi-instrumentalist sideman, accompanying artists such as Lori McKenna and Josh Ritter everywhere from Nashville's Grand Ole Opry to London's Royal Albert Hall. Erelli has ten records to his name, including collections of western swing (Hillbilly Pilgrim), lullabies (Innocent When You Dream) and songs of stirring social conscience (Hope & Other Casualties, WUMB Folk Radio's #1 record of 2006). In 2009, he was one of eight artists invited to the UK to take part in the Darwin Song Project, a collaborative release featuring songs inspired by the life and work of Charles Darwin. Mark Erelli is anticipating two new releases for 2010, a collection of murder ballads recorded with Jeffrey Foucault called Seven Curses, and Little Vigils, his ninth full-length studio record.
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