Review and photographs by Tim Mack
There is no justice.
If you’re the sort of music fan who reads Nippertown, you know this already. Talent, charisma and hard work don’t guarantee success, and plenty of artists lacking in those departments make the big-time through blind luck and clever management (and possibly questionable consumer taste).
Which brings us to Red Molly.
If you caught the Americana/bluegrass trio in their return to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall last Friday night, you probably felt lucky to see such an outsized talent in a comparatively modest venue. Bassist Laurie MacAllister noted it was likely the biggest indoor audience the band had ever played for. And somehow that didn’t seem right. Not that anyone was complaining, because the Hall’s famous acoustics seemed perfectly suited to these three pure voices.
MacAllister, Abbie Gardner (dobro) and Molly Venter (guitar) play music with a good ol’ country feel and a bigger sound than you’d expect from an easy-going trio. (Concert note: It’s always a good sign when the ushers are raving about the sound check while they lead you to your seat.) The first set saw a sampling of material off their 2011 studio release, Light in the Sky, as well as songs from their various solo records and the soon-to-be-released The Red Album, arriving officially next week (though copies arrived in Troy just in time for the show). Every song was a crowd-pleaser, but two covers were stand-outs: Simon and Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound” and “1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” Richard Thompson’s classic motorcycle ballad starring a tragic heroine named… Red Molly.