Molly Thomas doesn’t shy away from expressing who she is in her music.
Never trying to emulate anyone with her sound, but always mindful of the
influence that her experiences bring, she has constantly continued to craft her
skills. She has now poured them into a stunning showcase, in the form of her
latest effort, "Make Everything Bright."
The road to "Make Everything Bright" started when she began playing violin
as a child in Mississippi and has taken her around the world sharing the stage
with names like Todd Snider, Will Hoge, Matthew Ryan, Mando Saenz, Amelia White, Will
Kimbrough, Tommy Womack and K.S. Rhodes. Each mile prepping her for
making the type of music that begs to be written. Her desire to share her
stories and evoke emotion from others is where her talent and heart shines
“Make Everything Bright”, co-produced by Marco Giovino (drummer for Norah
Jones, Patty Griffin, Robert Plant) is filled with the same gritty passion that has
always permeated her music. It’s an album made of “real” and reflects on life
with an exuberant joy but certainly not through rose-colored glasses.
It is an album that cuts through the predictable female singer songwriter
stereotype and Molly is able to call it like it is and move on. In the songs, “The
Opportunist”, “35’s Got You Down”, “Leavin’ in My Blood”, “Unavailable Man”
and “You’re a Sorry One” she calls out a conniving female, tells her man to
grow up, tells someone she’s out, begs “that guy” to stop hurting women and
tells a cheater off. But these aren’t the ramblings of some prepubescent
wallowing in her misery these are the stories of a woman who sees through
the games people play without becoming bitter or victimized.
Her uncanny ability for empathy is evident in “Hey, I’ve Been There Too”
where she shares her compassion for people struggling with everyday
problems and her optimistic outlook comes shining through on “Henry John”
and “Blanket of Stars” where she looks hopefully toward the future and new
beginnings. And while Molly is a true renaissance woman who has changed
much over the years, her roots stay strong as evidenced in “The Ocean”, a
haunting melody about the healing waters of her homeland and her people.
And finally, the title track, “Make Everything Bright” sums up the entire record
with the lyrics “I hear a sad song behind a happy conversation. What a perfect
situation, I could die like this.” And just as in the song, this happy title is filled
with evocative lyrics, poignant phrases and mysterious melodies all woven
together to create her most passionate and heartfelt record yet.
Molly surrounded herself with quite the cast of musicians on this album.
Besides co-producing the record, Marco Giovino is also the pounding beat behind
the drums. Other players include Paul Ossola (Levon Helm, GE Smith), Frank
Swart (Patty Griffin), Kylie Harris (Patty Loveless), Doug Lancio (Patty Griffin,
John Hiatt, Todd Snider), John Jackson (Bob Dylan, Shelby Lynne, Lucinda Williams),
Christopher Hoffee (Atom Orr, The Truckee Brothers & Steve Poltz),
John Morgan Reilly (RxGF; co-producer of "Blanket of Stars"),
Neal Pawley, Brian Ritchey and Matthew Burgess.
Molly’s music stirs up a plethora of emotions. Sometimes, tied to a sense of
loss, but if you are able to step out of this disjointed world in which we live,
you will find that there is also plenty of room for toasting, loving and laughing.
Molly’s music is a reflection of these ingredients of the human spirit and this
album provides a perfect snapshot in which to relate.
Molly Thomas’ reputation in the music industry speaks for itself. Over the last year, she has spent time in front of millions of Americans appearing on Late Night with David Letterman and the Late Show with Jay Leno, playing violin next to folk icon, Todd Snider. She has also toured extensively playing violin and singing backup for Will Hoge and Matthew Ryan, and is currently one of the featured members of Ryan’s new project “Matthew Ryan vs. the Silver State”. She has been writing with Carnival Records’ Mando Saenz and has completed a string arrangement for Carnival’s Rick Brantley. Thomas has also seen some of the country’s most respected stages, both solo and as a hired gun for some of Nashville’s most sough after performers such as Will Kimbrough, Tommy Womack and K.S. Rhodes to name a few.
With the 2005 release of her first album “Shoot the Sky” however, Molly’s time spent as a studio and side musician is quickly becoming overshadowed by her stand alone talent. In fact, some of the musicians that Thomas stood so faithfully beside are now next to her on stage, taking their turn playing second fiddle, so to speak. The self produced 12 track project features Thomas on vocals, violin, guitar, cello, bass, piano, moog, Hammond organ, mandolin, and assorted percussion instruments, including some wonderful, yet self proclaimed “trashy drumming” on a track or two.
More than just talent, Molly Thomas has staying power and she is proving it over and over again. Her gripping voice, commanding stage presence, eclectic fashion sense and fragile beauty has a way of captivating an audience without overpowering them; leaving them always wanting more.
During her spring tour of Europe, Thomas found herself yet another audience. UK music aficionados were taken with this southern girl. Michael Mee of The Hawick News, (Hawick, UK) said about Thomas, “Molly Thomas is no little lady, bemoaning her trials and tribulations at the hands of the wrong kind of man. There’s a streak of defiance a mile wide in her voice and, as a writer, she kicks where it hurts and with unerring accuracy.” The unexpected attention from abroad landed her a distribution deal with Proper Distribution and some interest from the company’s record label along with a few offers from agents in the UK who are vying to sign the American Southerner.
The coming year promises many new projects for Thomas, including several studio projects for other musicians, but the most exciting news yet may be the release of her second album. She has been busying herself when not on stage or in a studio with writing and perfecting the haunting and beautiful new songs that will be her sophomore release. While it is true that she is an electrifying accompaniment to other acts, it is her addictive and unforgettable solo performances where she truly shines.