"Abbie Gardner gives the grit to Red Molly with her Dobro playing. On her new solo CD we get to hear not only her instrumental and songwriting prowess, but her marvelously versatile voice, which can convey pain or playfulness or pure bad girl blues power." - John Platt, WFUV
Coming five years and three Red Molly albums after her last solo CD, Hope is Abbie Gardner's latest solo recording- set to be released on April 1, 2011. The CD features her versatile voice backed by 3 types of slide guitar (dobro, lap steel, and National bottleneck) and a band comprised of not only her father, Herb Gardner (piano), but also her sister, Sarah Gardner, on organ. Ben Wittman (the drummer on Red Molly's James) locks in with upright bassist Craig Akin, who is featured on the first instrumental Abbie has ever recorded (a bass and dobro duet). The songs range from heartache to hope, from gritty lap steel to singing cellos, courtesy of Emily Hope Price. Folk sweetheart Robby Hecht lends his voice to three tracks and fellow member of Red Molly, Laurie MacAllister, is heard throughout. Longtime friends and collaborators Fred Gillen, Jr. and Beaucoup Blue also lend their voices.
"I feel like the songs revolve around Hope, both the song and the idea. Rather than having all hopeful songs, this CD reflects the glimmer of hope we all look for when in the midst of darkness." - Abbie Gardner
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MAY 2015May 1st, 2015
Big changes coming up. It’s been an amazing 11 years touring with Red Molly, but all good things must come to an end. We come off the road in September for an “indefinite hiatus”- which is a fancy way to say we’re taking a good long break, with no specific plans for a reunion tour, but certainly leaving the door open for it. No, we’re not fighting. No, we’re not “breaking up.” Is it the end of the band? Maybe, maybe not. We need to see what develops for each of us in the next few years. I love those girls with all my heart and it feels right to go out on a high note.
I’m looking forward to some much-needed time at home. I look back at the past oh, 5-10 years or so, and can’t remember the last time I slept in my own bed for more than 2 weeks. I have always been grateful to have a career and be able to travel, but the balance is off and needs to tip the other way.
Also, it’s just time for the next musical chapter. When I started Red Molly, I barely knew how to play Dobro. I basically learned on stage, every time someone threw me a solo I barely had time to panic before just diving in and giving it my best. I learned to sing and play at the same time, too. I’m incredibly grateful to have had a place to learn that! But I’m SO ready for the next challenge, which is to play dobro and sing all by myself. It scares the crap out of me because I can only think of three people in the US who do the full time solo singer/songwriter thing on lap slide guitar… and nobody who does it on Dobro. Maybe nobody does it because it doesn’t sound good! Or maybe it’s just too darn hard to keep the rhythm going, while singing and playing solos and fills, and also trying to look up at the audience once in awhile? All that using just a slide, strings that never touch the fingerboard, and no frets?!
Truth is, yeah, it’s pretty hard! But it’s what I do and what I want to do, so here I go. I may be a total fool to spend hours a day woodshedding for this solo project that may or may not work. It will take a few months of serious practice to get it together. How will I pay my bills during that time? I don’t know. Will anyone come to my non-Red Molly shows? I have no idea. Will I make enough to pay my mortgage? No idea. Will I do it anyway? Absolutely.
Check out a preview on May 15th when I trade songs with Tracy Grammar, Jesse Terry, and Rebecca Loebe at Outpost in the Burbs, Montclair, NJ.
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