Red Molly lights up the stage for Charlotte’s Web Nov. 4

Red Molly (pictured) performs at Memorial Hall at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4. (Photo by Annabel Braithwaite)

Staff Report

Make room, Roches and Wailin’ Jennys, Red Molly has earned a place among the elite female trios.” — John Platt, WFUV

Charlotte’s Web invites you to enjoy a sparkling experience with this talented trio at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4, at Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main St., Rockford.

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 New York City coffeehouses to the festival circuit in less than two years, winning notices for their performances at Merlefest, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and NPR’s Mountain Stage. 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.”

Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at: Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State, (815) 963-6765; both Postal Shoppe locations: Edgebrook Center, (815) 397-7301 and 2205 S. Perryville, (815) 484-0940 and JustGoods, 201 Seventh St., (815) 965-8903; and Nikki’s Café, 604 Pleasant St., Beloit, Wis., (608) 207-3101; or by mail: send a check and SASE to 306 Theodore St., Loves Park, IL 61111. Indicate artist or performance date on check. Credit card payment accepted only at via PayPal. There is a $1 ticket processing fee included. Print your receipt. Info: Call (815) 964-2238 or visit

From the Nov. 2-8, 2011, issue

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