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Red Molly - The Red Album (Red Molly Records)

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Named after our heroine in Richard Thompson's dramatic girl/bike story 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, which also makes an appearance here, Red Molly are a multifaceted trio of musicians comprising Molly Venter on guitar, Abbie Gardner on dobro and Laurie MacAllister on bass, each of whom contributes their own distinctive voice in the process. Red Molly avoid genre cliché and explore a wide and varied repertoire that encompasses straight forward mainstream Country fare with You Don't Have a Heart For It, the gospel blues feel of the stomping opener Clinch River Blues to the highly contemporary singer/songwriter atmosphere of the piano-led I Am Listening, which is so different to the rest of the album it almost feels out of place, although I'm particularly glad it's there because it's so utterly spellbinding. Along with Richard Thompson's moto-tragedy melodrama, another notable 'cover' comes by way of Paul Simon's preeminent Homeward Bound, which is not just revisited but revitalised here and features some of the best harmonies on the album. Well it has to be if you're up against Simon and Garfunkel I suppose. Closing with an a cappella Copper Ponies, the album demonstrates more than just a touch of class and is well worth the price tag.   

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky
Radio Play: Homeward Bound (Show 336/04.08.14)
Radio Play: Willow Tree (Show 338/18.08.14)
Radio Play: I Am Listening (Show 339/25/08/14)
Release Date: 01.09.14
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