Once we parked in the adjacent parking lot to The Listening Room, our feet could not take us inside fast enough. Molly Thomas and Rick Hirsch would be performing tonight and that is a recipe for a good time. My son, Eric Erdman and I wouldn't have missed it for anything.
Soon familiar faces and some unfamiliar faces were making their way into this venue and finding seats. When we go to The Listening Room in Mobile, it feels like a gathering of old friends and a process of getting to know some new ones. This is a place located at 78 St Francis Street in downtown Mobile, Alabama. It is quickly becoming the place to be if you enjoy actually hearing live music and getting to know the artists who perform. This place is drawing in a high caliber group of musicians from across the region and the excitement abounds.
Molly Thomas is a multi-talented musician. Tonight she played acoustic guitar, electric guitar and violin. Her voice fits perfectly with the style of songs she writes and it grabs hold of the audience and never lets go. Rick Hirsch is an exceptionally talented guitarist and music producer. His band “Wet Willie” was inducted into the Hall of Fame in both Georgia and Alabama. He and Molly are in a band currently that is rising in popularity. “Molly Thomas and The Rare Birds” are amazing and you should check them out at your earliest convenience.
Life can be tedious and it can be worrisome. It can be filled at times with problems and then with great joy. It is like a roller coaster mixture of good times and bad times. These Ups and Downs are what makes life what it is; the lows may take you down but you know you will be headed back up soon. I love taking a ride with the words of Molly’s songs and I love the music Molly Thomas and Rick Hirsch make as a team.
Nights like this are the ones that bring us back to the top of the mountain. If the week has drained you with all the little problems and annoying issues…the solution is good music. Music is the best medicine and these two have the sweetest formula that is so easy to swallow. Any time you get a chance for a dose of Molly Thomas and Rick Hirsch, drop what you are doing and make plans to go. Your heart will thank you for it later.
Molly is currently working on a new album and she shared some of the new songs with us. They are stellar, I can’t wait for that CD to come out this fall. Her words speak to me. Molly lifts her face and she drives her words up towards the sky, they shower down on us like a warm spring rain. It is refreshing.
Rick played his song, “Papa Come Quick”, (recorded and made famous by Bonnie Raitt)
as Molly sang the words to this folksy, refreshing song —- smiles came across every face in that room…
“Papa come quick, Jody’s gone to the city,
What we gonna do now that Jody’s gone.
She left a note on the TV and Papa its a pity,
what we gonna do now that Jody’s gone”.
“Gas up the old Ford, get out the road map
They got a head start about half a day
Load up the shotgun, put it in the gun rack
Jody’s with Chico down in East LA”
This song is timeless, people love to hear it, and they light-up just like we did, when they played it. It brings you to a happy place and time.
Some of my favorite songs by Molly are:
“Sherona” (the story of a poor addicted soul that has lost herself completely)…”your perfume is the only thing that’s real. If he holds ya and tells ya how much he loves you will it make you Feel?”
“Sorry One” (inspired by her personal experience as she faced a double betrayal). “Some days I want to reach out and ask you why” ..Other days I want to grab you by the hair and pull.” “You are a sorry one”.
“The Ocean”. (the story of her hometown and the joys of being so near the ocean) “I dream about the ocean, down south to the Gulf of Mexico. That’s where my momma had a baby. I was born in a little town east of the Biloxi wind."
Molly tells her story, she speaks openly about raw emotions. She tells stories of people she has met along the way and how they touched her and became part of her life. She tells us about life and love and loss openly and unabashedly. How can you not fall in love with her?
Molly told us of a song she truly loves that was written by her friend (Matthew Ryan), then she sang it.…I love it! “I Hear a Symphony” is the title. Look it up and listen, it will touch you I promise.
“Every time I watch the news I hear a symphony”
“You are not alone. You are not alone.
I swear this burden is not your own. You are not alone.”
(For me this song is self-assuring. To be reminded that, whatever you are going through, you are not alone, others are on that ride with you….We all hear lyrics in our own way. How we interpret them is personal and is guided by our life experiences.)
I am Juanita Smith and, yes, I hear a symphony!
For me this show was everything I hoped it to be.
I want to thank Molly and Rick for sharing their talents and lifting our spirits.
Also thank you again Jim Pennington for creating a beacon in the darkness (The Listening Room) for musicians to be seen, heard and honored as they deserve.