On Saturday, April 9, Flying Cat Music presents Abbie Gardner, of Red Molly Fame, in concert at the Empire State Railway Museum located at 70 Lower High Street in Phoenicia. The doors open at 7:00 p.m. with the show beginning at 7:30 prompt. Admission is $15 or $12 with RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 845-688-9453.
When Richard Cuccaro, publisher of Acoustic Live, reviewed Abbie Gardner’s performance on her most recent solo CD Hope he said: “She channels Lucinda and Bonnie, but remains pure Abbie.” That is a good thing because Abbie Gardner is, in the words of Twangville, “one of the best artists in Americana music today.” Americana music is a broad term and Abbie excels at virtually all of it. Her first full-length recording, My Craziest Dream (2004), was an album of jazz standards featuring her father on piano that earned Abbie an entry in the 2009 Hal Leonard book The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide. Meanwhile, The Ectophile’s Guide to Good Music says of Gardner, “She can be touching, wrenching, haunting, or bluesy, or all three at different moments in one song.”
While Abbie Gardner has long been recognized as an exceptional singer-songwriter, with three solo CD releases to date, many of her most fervent fans originally came to know her through the Americana darlings Red Molly, a female trio she co-founded in 2004. Publicity for Red Molly described Abbie’s unique role in that band as “the balladeer in the sawdust bar, singing in the blue lights, making us cry into our beers.” After gracing stages from Denver to Denmark, and from Australia to Austin for eleven years, Red Molly decided to take an indefinite hiatus in 2015, so Abbie is now striking out on her own.
She described what that feels like to her in a recent interview: “There’s a ton of freedom when you’re solo,” she said. “You can write a song in the morning and try it out on stage that night. With a band, it takes a lot of practice and coordination for each song to be ready for performance. The downside is that there’s a lot more responsibility. If you’re under the weather or feeling awkward, there’s no one to fall back on. But honestly, I’m ready for that challenge.”
Fans of Abbie Gardner will be treated to the chance to hear a broad array of Abbie’s stirring and sterling compositions, above and beyond what appeared in a typical Red Molly set list, during her solo performance. That represents a real treat, as Abbie is an award-winning songwriter with accolades such as: 2008 Lennon Award Winner (folk) for “The Mind of a Soldier” and 2008 American Songwriter Magazine Grand Prize Lyric Winner for “I’d Rather Be.”
Abbie Gardner is widely regarded as a fiery Dobro player, though she studied classical flute growing up. She’s also quite adept on guitar. Playing multiple instruments helped hone Abbie’s keen musical sensibilities, which will be on full display Saturday night in the warm confines of the Empire State Railway Museum. Abbie Gardner will be joined for this intimate performance by Craig Akin (of Roosevelt Dime) on upright bass.