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Nellie McKay and Red Molly on Sat, May 18 @ Landmark on Main Street

John Mitty Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nellie McKay and Red Molly on Sat, May 18 @ Landmark on Main Street

Landmark on Main Street’s Main Stage Fabulous Folk Series will conclude for the 2012-13 Season with a double-bill: Nellie McKay & Red Molly on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 8 PM.   Landmark thanks our Landmark thanks our Fabulous Folk Series Sponsors WFUV Radio and host WFUV’s John Platt.  Additional thanks to our program sponsors Andrew Abramowitz, PLLC and Kay & Leo Ullman.  We gratefully acknowledge our Season Sponsor Pall Corporation and our Partners in Performing Arts: Harding Real Estate, Town of North Hempstead, Bank of America, The Peter & Jeri Dejana Family Foundation and Winthrop University Hospital their support of our full season of programming. 

Nellie McKay produced her double debut album Get Away From Me with Beatles' engineer Geoff Emerick, which was greeted with critical raves and placement on many Top Ten lists, followed byPretty Little Head, Obligatory Villagers, Normal as Blueberry Pie and her latest, Home Sweet Mobile Home.? 

The Washington Post wrote, "McKay's music evokes the lost elegance of pre-Elvis pop because she recognizes that such stylishness and wit are worth pursuing. But these goals inevitably collide with the realities of money, sex and politics, and she documents those collisions in her tongue-in-cheek lyrics, emphatic beats and bubbly melodies."? 

McKay has appeared on numerous TV shows, and her music has been heard on Weeds, Grey's Anatomy, NCIS, PrivilegedNurse Jackie, and Mad Men, while she has won a Theatre World Award for her Polly in the Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, also acting and singing in the film PS I Love You and writing and performing the song score for the Rob Reiner filmRumor Has It. Her writing has appeared in The Onion, Interview, and The New York Times Book Review.? 

Normal As Blueberry Pie:  A Tribute to Doris Day, was hailed as "among the killer overhauls of American standards" by The New York Times. Recently, McKay appeared opposite violin prodigy Philippe Quint in David Grubin's independent film Downtown Express, recorded music for the Grammy-winning Boardwalk Empire soundtrack album, and contributed 2 songs to the Emmy-winning anti-fracking documentary Gasland.? 

Nellie is intermittently touring her cabaret shows - the “brilliant, zany” (New York Times) "I Want to Live!" the story of Barbara Graham, third woman executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin, and "Silent Spring: It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature" an exploration of pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson. 

She recently earned critical acclaim for the Off-Broadway production “Old Hats”, written by Bill Irwin and David Shiner and featuring Nellie and her music.  A “bewitching pixie of a performer, who can sound like [Doris] Day one minute and Anita O’Day the next, plays an equal partner in this variety show, singing her own slyly funny compositions,” writes the New York Times.

A recipient of PETA's Guardian Award in recognition of her dedication to animal rights, Nellie is known as an outspoken advocate for feminism, civil rights and other deeply felt progressive ideals. 

"Make room, Roches and Wailin' Jennys, Red Molly has earned a place among the elite female trios." 
-John Platt, WFUV

If one word describes the new Red Molly CD, Light in the Sky, that word is joyous. Once again, with the "tick-tight arrangements, crystalline vocals and caramel harmonies" that the Boston Globe praised, Red Molly creates an album with gorgeous a cappella ballads, bluegrass-tinged folk and a touch of jazzy western swing, all done up in Red Molly's trademark three-part harmonies, signature dobro licks and inventive arrangements. The title sets the theme for the 14 tracks: optimism, joy, and excitement for the future.

Red Molly knows about optimism and joy. The band's fans, referred to as "RedHeads", have always responded to the sense that the band is a group of friends, sharing songs in their living room. That's exactly how it felt in 2004 when Laurie MacAllister (guitar, banjo, bass), Abbie Gardner (dobro, guitar) and Carolann Solebello (guitar, bass) sat around a campfire at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, singing and talking about their favorite songwriters. Knowing they had stumbled into something extraordinary, they formed Red Molly and spent the next seven years on the road.

From the start, the trio got attention with their lively, engaging stage performances. They moved quickly from NYC coffeehouses to the festival circuit in less than two years, winning notices for their performances at Merlefest, the Philadephia Folk Festival, and NPR's Mountain Stage. Between knocking out audiences from coast to coast, the trio found time to record three albums: Never Been to Vegas in 2006; 2008's Love and Other Tragedies, which spent ten weeks in the Top 15 on the Americana Chart, and 2010's James which logged four months in the Top 40 on the Americana Chart, peaking at #4, and landing at #23 in the year's Top 100. Last year, when founding member Carolann Solebello stepped down, MacAllister and Gardner asked Austin-based singer songwriter and guitarist Molly Venter to join the band. "Molly has a unique, edgy tone to her voice," MacAllister says. "Her sound is a bit pop-oriented, and while it hasn't changed our overall sound, I'd say it's a bit more gutsy, upbeat and modern."

Light in the Sky is Red Molly's first release with the newest Molly. The trio, with engineer Mark Dann at the helm, collectively produced the album. Red Molly's instrumental prowess, sparkling harmonies and strong lead vocals of the individual members are evident throughout. The band also showcases their songwriting expertise with three solid original tunes and an inventive re-imagining of Robert Johnson's "Come On in My Kitchen". Gardner's co-write with Jonathan Byrd, "Oh My Michael", sounds like a traditional Irish ballad. Her dobro adds to the song's haunted sound, while her poignant lead vocal is remarkable for its subdued emotion. Abbie and her father Herb Gardner wrote "Hello Goodbye", a fun, funky tune with a hint of ragtime. The group's harmonies suggest the 40's swing of The Andrews Sisters. Venter's "Hold It All" is a grown-up lullaby, both graceful and insightful. Gardner tweaks Johnson's "Come On in My Kitchen" by adding a bridge that ups the song's emotional ante and by rewriting the lyric to make it a story of women supporting each other.

The group also puts their stamp on a collection of fine cover tunes. The album's opener, "Dear Someone", is a Gillian Welch/David Rawlings tune, given an impressive a cappella reading. The girls tip their hat twice to singer songwriter Mark Erelli, delivering a stunning cover of his power ballad "Ghost", and a fun rendition of his tongue-in-cheek "Why Should I Cry". Buddy and Julie Miller's "Does My Ring Burn Your Finger" gets an acoustic honky tonk treatment with MacAllister's teardrop-in-the-throat vocal. "Fever", the Otis Blackwell/Eddie Cooley classic, features Venter at her finest in a performance that is both cool and sultry, supported by Craig Akin's upright bass and the trio's snapping fingers. In addition to Gardner and Akin, Red Molly is joined in the studio by Ben Wittman on percussion and Jake Armerding on fiddle and mandolin.


Tickets: Premium $45 and Standard $40 with discounts for “Friends of Landmark.”  Tickets and information at the box office phone 516-767-6444 or www.landmarkonmainstreet.org.

Photos: Nellie McKay & Red Molly


Appears In: Press Releases

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Press releases are John's expertise and he scours the web trying to find the most recent press release updates on what's happening on Long Island. If you have a press release that you'd like to share please send it to jmitty@longislandyellowpages.com.
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