Red Molly brings bluegrass to Grounds for ThoughtWritten by Joel Sensenig | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Female bluegrass trio Red Molly will bring the sounds of the Appalachian Mountains to the farmlands of Bowling Green on March 10 for a free show at Grounds for Thought coffee shop.
The 8 p.m. show will allow the band to display tunes from its latest album, “James,” (No. 23 on the Americana Charts Top 100 Albums of 2010) as well as its newest member, Molly Venter. Venter, who has found some success as a solo roots artist (she has two songs in rotation on all in-store Apple computers), joins founding members Abbie Gardner and Laurie MacAllister to round out Red Molly, now in its sixth year of touring.
Prior to the upstate New York’s band’s swing through the East Coast and Ohio, Gardner checked in with Toledo Free Press Star to talk about the tour, and how the three women find the road more structured than home.
“The shows have been really well lately,” she said. “We’ve been lucky enough to see big crowds come out as we travel all across the country! We have been invited back to MerleFest and have a great tour schedule lined up, with lots of exciting venues and festivals. We’re also busy working up new songs while on tour for a record we plan to release at the end of this summer.”
Fans at Red Molly’s shows have the opportunity to buy “James” at whatever price they deem appropriate. “Pay what you like,” the band tells live audiences.
“It’s a bit radical, I know, but helps build such a nice relationship between us and our audiences,” Gardner said.
Red Molly originated from a late-night harmonizing session at a Falcon Ridge Folk Festival campsite, as the members discovered a mutual love of the likes of Gillian Welch and Patty Griffin. Its 2008 release, “Love and Other Tragedies,” spent 10 weeks in the Top 15 of the Americana Top 40.
Gardner, who is also releasing a solo album this spring, says having another outlet for the songs in her head helps keep her focused.
“If I write a song that isn’t right for Red Molly, it can still have a life of its own in my solo career,” she said. “And rather than trying to get too experimental with other genres in the band, I can do that at my solo gigs. It keeps me focused on what is truly Red Molly, while being able to have an outlet for other musical ideas that come up.”
Although the band has crisscrossed the country on this tour, Gardner said Red Molly’s road lifestyle is less hectic than one may expect.
“Being on the road with these girls is amazing,” she said. “We have been eating really healthy stuff by stopping at grocery stores, making sure to exercise on the road and get in time for rest. Sometimes our tours are less stressful than being home because our time is so structured out on the road. The hardest part is probably packing!”
Red Molly will play two free sets at the March 10 show, beginning at 8 p.m. Grounds for Thought is located at 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green, (419) 354-3266.