Red Molly Adds An Actual Molly

After six years of performing with three non-Mollys, the folk band, Red Molly actually has a Molly.
Singer-songwriter Molly Venter replaced Carolann Solebello in August. “We’re finally true to our name,” vocalist-guitarist Abbie Gardner said. “It’s about time we have a Molly in this band.”
Red Molly, which will perform Thursday at Patriots Theater at the War Memorial and Friday at the Sellersville Theater, crafts beguiling Americana with warm melodies and pretty harmonies. Red Molly formed due to the vocal connection they shared. After playing the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2004, Gardner, Solebello and Laurie MacAllister were the last singer-songwriters playing at a song circle.
“We realized that we had something between us,” Gardner said. “It was apparent that we had a common denominator and we didn’t just let it go. We decided to throw ourselves into this project on the spot.”
The trio started to take off in 2006 after the release of their first album, ‘Never Been to Vegas.’ The group found a fan base attracted to its distinctive three-part harmonies.
“I think we hit some people that may have regarded us as a throwback or something,” Gardner said. “But we were just doing what comes natural to us.”
The group, which is based in Jersey City, built on their base with the release of its second album, ‘Love and Other Tragedies.’ Part of what makes Red Molly sound like something out of the past is that each tune is its own entity. Red Molly takes listeners to a different place with each track.
“That’s something that we work at,” Gardner said. “We want to make every song unique. We don’t believe in repeating ourselves with our originals.”
Red Molly also enjoys rendering covers. Nanci Griffith, Ryan Adams and Gillian Welch songs are often delivered by Red Molly.
“We pick our favorite songs and give them a shot,” Gardner said. “We can cover a song from any style of music. The genre doesn’t matter to us.”
Red Molly is currently covering Peggy Lee’s ‘Fever’ and songs written by Mark Erelli, an underheralded Massachusetts based singer-songwriter.
“We can be all over the place when it comes to the songs we play,” Gardner said. “We play what we love.”
Gardner notes that Red Molly is planning its next album. However, don’t expect the act to preview cuts in Trenton and Sellersville since the project is in the embryonic stage.
“We’re just getting started with this next record,” Gardner said. “We have a lot of work to do.”
It’ll be the first Red Molly disc to feature Ventner. “We’re looking forward to it,” Gardner said. “We’re taking a step without Carolann. She has a young son and just can’t tour so much. She had to bow out. We’re sad she’s no longer part of Red Molly but we’re excited about having Molly Venter with us. We’re re-energized. We’re ready to see where we’re going to go next.”


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