The ladies of Red Molly are extremely talented. Laurie MacAllister (banjo and guitar), Abbie Gardner (resonator guitar, lap steel, and guitar), and Carolann Solebello (guitar) meld together perfectly in beautiful three-part harmonies again on their fourth CD, James.
From the fun and playful to the dark and serious, this 13-track disc covers a lot of ground. Self-produced, the talented trio takes turns on lead vocals throughout. Gardner’s songwriting ability speaks for itself on two cuts, “Jezebel” and “Troubled Mind,” but the ladies also selected songs from well-known writers such as Darrell Scott (“You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”), Steve Goodman (“Lookin’ For Trouble”), Nanci Griffith (“Gulf Coast Highway”), and Texas-swing man Bob Wills (“The End Of The Line”). Jake Armerding adds his fiddle and mandolin skills while Mike Weatherly lays down the solid groove on bass and Herb Gardner jams on piano. For the first time, the trio brought a percussionist (Ben Wittman) into the studio.
Red Molly may have tweaked a few things in the studio, but the group doesn’t stray too far from its signature sound. The incredible sibling-like harmonies make this CD a must have for your collection. (Red Molly, 372 7th St. #2, Jersey City, NY 07302, www.redmolly.com.) BC