If this CD were all a cappella ballads, this would be an excellent new project from Red Molly. But their crystalline three-part harmonies are only part of the excellent music adventure this trio brought to the studio. Austin-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Molly Venter easily steps into the ladies’ first recording (after founding member Carolann Solebello left the group) and displays her talents on “Hold It All,” a lullaby she wrote to herself when she was joining the group.
Founding members Laurie MacAllister and Abbie Gardner show off their vocal chops on cover tunes and originals. The threesome put their own touches on Dolly Parton’s “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind,” “Walk Beside Me” by Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott, and Doc and Rosa Lee Watson’s “Your Long Journey.” Abbie tweaked her favorite Robert Johnson tune, “Come On In My Kitchen,” with a rewrite and different arrangement and also contributed her tunesmith talents on “Oh My Michael” and “Hello Goodbye.”
A Red Molly record wouldn’t be the same without a song from Gillian Welch, the inspiration for the band’s formation, but this disc has two: the opening vocals-only track, “Dear Someone,” and “By The Mark,” both co-written by Welch and David Rawlings. The snappy bonus track, “Fever,” rounds out the 14-track collection. Hats off to the delightful musicianship of the band, Herb Gardner, Craig Akin, Ben Wittman, and Jake Armerding. (www.redmolly.com) BC