A New Day, A New Beginning Podcast



It’s been almost 3 years since I last posted a blog on my website. So much has happened, and there have been drastic changes in my life since that time.  My blogs consisted of the stories/journey through which my songs were written, and I believe I didn’t even get ½ way through before I stopped…before I fell in love... It’s a little late to be recapping at this point in time, but I will encourage you to download or buy the album, “Make Everything Bright.” It’s almost Labor Day…you know, the big shopping and gift giving day of the year! *kidding* You can listen and make up your own stories of what you think the songs may be about! 

Well, where to start? Right before my 2011 tour to Norway, I began corresponding with an old friend. I was living in Nashville, he, (on a ship most of the time in the Gulf of Mexico), living in Fairhope, Alabama. You know, that’s what I get for writing that song, The Ocean (1 year before that point)! It all happened in this cosmic/Universal free & floating kind of way. Basically, to make a very long story short, we connected in a way I had not experienced before… I dedicated myself to THREE HOURS on the telephone the first day we talked. If anyone knows me well, they KNOW that I hate talking on the phone, unless it’s to my mom or my close girlfriends. So, that was a HUGE sign. We corresponded back and forth writing emails, letters and chatting. Christmas rolled around and we finally got to actually see each other in person. And at that point, we both knew it was “going on!” One year later, we were married, and I relocated from Nashville to LA, Lower Alabama! Oh, I forgot to tell you his name….Wally Milham! And yes, you can laugh because I do it everyday when I say out loud or to myself, “Molly & Wally”!
 
I am now the proud step-parent of Wally’s two hipster teens, Laney (17) and Caleb (15). I didn’t just jump in, I dove straight  in the deep end (Molly style) and started swimming (sometimes drowning, lol)! There have been challenges, as you can imagine…me having no kids of my own and now raising 2 teens. Do you now know why I took a break from music??? Well, we have all acclimated and settled in, and are feeling good! So, at this point, couldn’t keep myself from trying to put a band together and get back to gigging.
 
Let me interrupt myself again…. 1994! I moved to Mobile, AL from Hattiesburg, MS to join a rock & roll band, Slow Moses. The drummer of that band was John Milham…..Wally’s brother! That’s how Wally and I first met. TWENTY years later, John and I have started a new band, along with a few other guys (John Keuler on bass & James Marshall Wamble), and we are calling ourselves, Molly Thomas & The Rare Birds. I mean, what a full circle! It’s just crazy!
 
I don’t like to write long blogs because I know most of you don’t have time, and let’s get real… they can be quite boring, But I did want to update you all and let you know I was still around and music just won’t go away. We have our first gig as, Molly Thomas & The Rare Birds next month, Sunday, September 21st at Callaghan’s Irish Social Club in Mobile, Alabama. I hope many of you can make it. My mailing list is full of people scattered through out the world. Please stay in touch, and I promise, I will record another record for your casual listening, in due time. My father always called me a late bloomer, and now I know why.
 
Until then, may you all have a peaceful week and love each other and hug everyone you can.
 
Peace & Love,
Molly
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  1. The Ocean - "Make Everything Bright"

Tonight! 





Hey y’all!

It’s been a few weeks since my last blog. With my tour to Norway and the Thanksgiving holidays, it’s been a busy time. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a special time with family and friends.

Next week, I will start writing again about the songs on my new album, Make Everything Bright. I’ll be discussing the song, Leaving in My Blood, that I wrote with Amelia White. I’m hoping to get her over to the house to make another video blog to talk about where the song originated and also about the process we went through writing the song together.

For those of you in and around Nashville, I have a full band show - 9 p.m. tonight at The Family Wash. Once again, I’m excited to have Marco Giovino on drums (he helped produce most of my new record and is also the drummer for Robert Plant, Norah Jones and Patty Griffin), John Jackson on guitar (Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams and Shelby Lynne), and Brad Albin (Brent Mason, Mandy Barnett) on bass. If you haven’t been to The Family Wash, this is your chance. Come early for great food and drink, then enjoy the music of Stephen Simmons at 9 … and we’ll play a mix of new and old favorites right after his opening set.

I hope to see you tonight!

Peace & Love,
Molly

P.S. If you’re shopping for holiday gifts, don’t forget that I have cd’s available!!!



The Ocean 


photo by Griffin Norman

Hey everyone. I wanted to get this blog out before the Halloween weekend and before I head over the big ocean on Wednesday to Norway. So, all you adults out there…what are YOU dressing up as for Halloween?

This week’s blog is about the song, The Ocean, from my new record Make Everything Bright.

          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.


The songs I’ve written about in previous blogs are about relationships, falling in and out of love, family dynamics, and a mid-life crisis or two – or five. This one is about home – the Gulf Coast - where I was born and then lived on-and-off for 15 years. In Ocean Springs (Mississippi), Gulfport (Mississippi), Mobile and Fairhope (Alabama).

Those who have spent any time with me know that I’m truly a child of the coast. I’m either talking about the ocean or figuring out some way to merge music and commerce to get me back there one day.

I love Nashville, but not a day goes by that I don’t think of the Gulf Coast…the ocean, the beach, the people.

I was daydreaming about it all one afternoon about two years ago, and decided it was time to write a song about the place that helped shape me into the person I am today.

The ocean is where the sounds soothe your soul. Whether in a boat or sitting on the beach, eyes closed, listening to the waves. Or it’s that feeling as you walk barefoot through the sand and take that first step into the ocean. Waves lapping over your feet. Drawing at you…with the in and out, like the ebb and flow of life.

It’s incredible the effect water has on people whether it’s the ocean or a river. Especially, when you are born and raised on the water.

I’ve tried the Cumberland River here in Nashville with walks along the greenway. It’s peaceful and a river flows through so many communities as a life blood. I understand that. I see it in places from such as Vicksburg, Natchez, Memphis, and New Orleans. There’s a way about the people from these places. The Mighty Mississippi gives a strength of spirit to those living on the land it flows through and a tranquil relaxation to those watching it roll on by.

But, I’m an ocean girl. The salt. The smell. The different pattern of life in coastal towns. The sight of shrimp boats at dusk as their lights merge with the stars on the horizon. Flashlights of kids floundering at night. Crab nets on the side of decks after the season. And the sound of "throw me somethin’ mister" echoing from Mobile to the Pass to New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

          A town of believers, waiting for their catch from the sea.
          Painters, potters in that place, like good people of faith
          Waiting for their colors to arrive from the sky…seers


Visiting the Gulf Coast after Katrina was devastating. If you didn’t witness the aftermath, I’m not sure anyone truly understands what happened there, particularly Mississippi. The places I had known since childhood were gone. Neighborhoods were only foundations and streets. However, over the last six years the steel-like resolution to rebuild and comeback by its residents has been as powerful as the ocean that wrecked their lives. That’s because coast people come from the water, whether you’re born in it or come to call it home.

The ocean is the life line of the coast. Waves of water coming in to nourish you and then leaving as the tide takes out with your worries. You are hypnotized by the water. I wanted to create a pattern like that in the music – a vibe that makes you sway a bit, almost a bit 60s psychedelic & hypnotic.

          The ocean is in my veins, and it's stuck like the color red
          The water comes and goes, like some people that I know.
          Comes and goes, comes and goes.


The line “The water comes and goes, like some people that I know” is about the people in your life – friends and family - that like the water, mold and sustain you no matter how long you have them with you. In the video I created for the song, you will notice in the chorus several of those people from my life (my father being one) as that lyric plays.

Memories of my life on the ocean and the beach are just as they are today for many people, I think.

Cruising the beach boulevards. Fishing. Walks in the sand. Football and graduation bonfires. Beach parties. Weddings on the water. And, ashes spread into the ocean. A cycle of life.

Some people never leave the ocean. Like me, many do and long for home.

Sometimes you have to leave to find home again. I know the lighthouse and the ocean, will lead me back – one day.

Peace & Love,
Molly



Hey, I've Been There Too 


Photo by Griffin Norman

Hey y’all. It’s definitely fall in Nashville. Yesterday, it was raining, cloudy and cold…perfect for staying in and writing a new song. I even broke out the first sweater of the season.

Today, it’s cold and sunny (at times). As I wrote in my blog on Tuesday, I’m packing and rehearsing for my Norway tour. But, I’m also getting in several writing appointments, and it’s been fun creating new music with new people.

This blog today is about Hey, I’ve Been There Too, the third track on my new album Make Everything Bright.

This is probably the most personal song on Make Everything Bright in terms of inserting real life (mine) into the music, and it has resonated with close friends who know me well and also people who have heard it live and for those who have bought and listened to the record.

The song started with the music first, which is not always the case for me. I was working with my new pro-tools recording program and came up with a drum loop and started to write the melody. Then, the words came. Eventually, I dropped the drum loop and kept the simplicity of the acoustic guitar and violin.

I struggled with writing this blog because it involved my family and personal feelings. But, after talking to my sister (who is part of the song’s story), she approved right away. She said..."Molly, your songs are a part of who you are.... you've already written the song & it's on your record for everyone to hear. Part of what you do is to share your stories." She was and continues to be very supportive.

I wrote the lyrics while I was going to my therapist two years ago. Therapy is always a great thing, whether you are going through tough times or if everything is “bright” in your life. The song hits home for me, literally. It’s about feelings I had regarding my relationship, as I grew up, with my older sister. During those particular sessions, I started to discover that I wasn’t letting my light shine, whether it was about my art and music or personally in relationships. I was always a bit shy when talking about my music career, success or the rough spots...Shy, uncomfortable, taking the back seat in regards to being who I truly am... (happy, intense, bright,  & sensitive).. all of the adjectives that probably describe most of us. I think we all have several sides to ourselves... our past that is still a part of us and then the people we become as we mature and walk through our journey trying to better ourselves in this crazy world. Everyone has many angles & interesting stories. Uncovering them & watching them spawn into something new is what makes life....well... LIFE! To quote my mother many years ago, she said..."It takes a lot of livin' to learn to live." It stands to be my favorite quote to this day! Thanks mom! ;)

Growing up, I didn’t want to outshine my sister because she was the oldest. She had her shining activities and I had mine. I tended to excel in music and art…and I thought she was jealous because she tended to be mean to me at times and it really hurt my feelings. So, I pulled back and always let her shine instead of me. I never wanted her to feel bad, so I internalized it and decided it was my job to feel bad for both of us (HA!...insert humor). And, you all know how sibling dynamics are, especially with sisters. Years later, I found out that she wasn’t jealous at all, and it was about how I felt. I tucked those feelings away years ago, and they continued to affect me as I grew older. I would always try to diffuse my light. And even though I have worked through these things…it’s funny, it always lingers. I’m not the best at taking compliments, as many of you know *wink*

That’s where the line – "guilt for feeling good, time to change" comes from.

As I worked on the personal angle for the song (using a male figure in the opening line....."Hey, it's alright to shine, you won't let HIM down" hoping no one would know that it was actually a girl, my sister I was talking about because, again, I didn't want to hurt her feelings), I wanted to add different scenarios for situations for each verse where we always feel hurt & alone. Each of the verses plays out that way…and I wanted listeners to know we’ve all been there. It’s ok to feel alone & sad, we have been there, and it gets better. I wanted listeners to see themselves in the song. We’ve all felt the sting of mean words from those trying to hurt us. The song says it’s ok to hurt, but keep your head up.

Keep your light shining no matter what and keep going forward. We all have had tough times, just keep the light on!

I’ll write about "The Ocean" next week.

Peace & love,
Molly

Movie News & Tour in Norway! 



Photo by Griffin Norman


Movie News

It’s new movie Tuesday – the day new DVD releases come out. And guess what? Check your local Red Box for the movie – Good Day For It. My song, Bad Timing, is featured in a scene. Very exciting!

It’s a film by Nick Stagliano that had a premiere at the Nashville Film Festival this past May. The actors include Robert Patrick, Hal Holbrook, Kathy Baker, Lance Henrikson and Samantha Mathis. You may remember I wrote a blog about the premiere earlier this year. My dear friend, Matthew Ryan, also scored the film.
In other good news, it looks like I may have three songs in another film coming out next year. I can’t say too much about it because we’re still in the final talks. Keep your fingers crossed!

Headed to Norway for Tour
It’s almost here, and I can’t wait. I’m headed to Norway on Nov. 2 for a solo acoustic tour, playing seven show s in 10 days. It will be my second tour overseas in a little over a year, but my first to Norway as a solo artist. I will be playing listening rooms, clubs, and “one rowdy private party” according to my booking agent and promoter, Camilla Sorhus.

I will be playing songs from my new record, Make Everything Bright, and from Shoot the Sky. I am working now on set lists and getting all my gear ready to travel. I can’t believe it’s only two weeks away. I am really excited to be working with Camilla. Amelia White, one of my close friends, artist and co-writer with me (Leaving in My Blood & Make Everything Bright), had praised Camilla after a tour with her in Norway. She talked of how Camilla loved our kind of music, and then mentioned that she was coming to the states to visit. As it played out, Camilla ended up being my roommate during her visit to Nashville last Spring. We had a great time and became good friends. As we talked, she asked if we could do a tour for me in Norway…and now I’m headed over.

Camilla is one of the best in the business. She has worked with Bobby Bare Jr., Jon Byrd, Amelia, Mark Huff, Peter Molinari and many others. I’m lucky to have her as a supporter of my work.

This is my first solo music tour to Norway, but I lived there for six months in 1991 working as a teaching assistant to an art teacher in a school for mentally and physically challenged children. I really enjoyed my time and look forward to going back. Through Facebook the last few months, I have connected with some of the friends I made 20 years ago. I hope to see them during my tour.

I did a few dates in Norway during my overseas tour with Kim Carson last summer. And it was a wild time. I know this sounds a bit out of character but I smacked two men for grabbing mine and Kim’s behinds... wait, I will explain!...It’s day time over there during the summer and the winters are dark 24-7. So when summer hits, the people have a great time and drink a lot of beer. We played a festival where the crowds camp out, drink beer, dance and listen to music all weekend. They love to line dance. Americana, folk and especially country music are big there. They have all these booths set up where people are selling music, cowboy hats, leather belts, and food. The people in Norway are very reserved, but at these festivals they let go and have a good time.
Ok...so here's the "butt grabbing story!" The first “behind grab” was while we were listening to the band playing after us, and this guy comes up and just grabs me. I turned around and clocked him. He just laughed, stumbled and went on his way. Then just about 30 minutes later. It happened to Kim while we were listening to more music, and I clocked him too. This time, Kim got in his face and asked him if his mother raised him to treat a lady that way. Typical Southern response – he was Norweiga, Ha! But, he knew exactly what she meant!

I can’t wait to get back and play. The people love music and really appreciate what we (americana/folk/indie musicians) are doing. It’s the prime time to play because it’s winter and there isn’t a lot to do. Most of these venues are closed during the summertime while people hit the outdoors and festivals. This is the time to tour the cities.
The country is absolutely beautiful – almost fairy tale gorgeous.

I will blog and post pics during the tour, and take you along with me.
Well, I better get back to rehearsal and packing. I will post the next song blog for Make Everything Bright on Thursday. This one is for Hey, I’ve Been There Too.
Talk to you again on Thursday!
Happy Tuesday.

Peace & Love,
Molly


35's Got You Down 



Photo by Griffin Norman

So you wanna know what’s ahead. But everything now that’s been said is a question.
Take the day as it comes. You’re 35. You’re in the slums. Just be a man. Oh be a man…

Welcome back. I’ve been writing & recording with a few other people lately on side projects, and wanted to keep moving along with these blogs about each song from my new album, Making Everything Bright .
This one is about the song, 35’s Got You Down. After one listen, I know many of you wonder – again – this must be about a man-bashing situation or a relationship gone wrong. True, it is about men I’ve known or met going through a mid-life crisis. But, it’s really about that stage in life we all go through at that age, and at times again later in life.
Here’s the story about 35:
I wrote it a few years back with K.S. Rhoads. (Check out his music, too – an incredible talent) I had written the lyric and had a melody, but something just wasn’t clicking. I was writing & working with him at that time, and he came over to help me. We started talking about this song and what I wanted it to convey lyrically but also musically. K.S. is so talented, and he came up with a new melody right off…started playing around with a new rhythmic pattern. I loved it and it evolved from there.
The idea came from no one specific. Observing guy friends or guys you meet, who are going through that time in life where they are questioning it all – love, job, friends. It’s basically about the ones who are so self-absorbed in their mid-life crisis they can’t see the real life in front of them.
But, in writing the song…it’s not just guys who get to that stage in the mid-30s. We are all at one point or another going – what the hell? Am I doing it right? Is there more out there for me than this? Should I have taken a left when I took that right? Is this love?
Don’t question 35. It’s just depression, you’ll survive.
That one line says it all. We survive. It’s time to get it together and move on. I’ve had to tell myself the same thing. It’s not just about guys, but you know we’ve all had one like this. Haha. It’s fun with this song focusing on the guys because girls are always thought to be the ones brooding about life and problems.
This is usually one of the most popular songs when we play it live. It’s kind of an anthem for today’s woman (or man)! People like it because of the message & the “ba ba ba’s” but also the cool laid back vibe that K.S. helped give it.
I hope everyone had a great weekend, and you are enjoying this fall weather. Next up is Hey, I’ve Been There Too.
Thanks for your great response to these blogs, and look forward to seeing you on the road soon!
 
Peace & Love,
Molly

The Opportunist 

 


Photo by Griffin Norman


I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. It was a busy
weekend & week for me with a few recording sessions, work and great visits with
friends...

I started blogging last week about the new record, Make Everything
Bright...the first of a series of blogs and video blogs to come. Over
the coming weeks, I will tell the stories behind each of the songs. –
A new thing for me...early in my career I made the decision not to
explain my songs, hoping people would connect and interpret them to
suit their own needs.

First let me say that when I write a song, it can start off with a certain
meaning or truth. Then, after time it can morph into something
completely different. That’s kind of nice on one hand because the
song can stay fresh and not become boring to perform. However,
I do like to reflect and think back about what my main concept was
when I first wrote the song. I think it’s important to keep that honesty
alive and breathing.

That brings us to The Opportunist--a short, sweet (or not so sweet!
) song about someone we’ve all known: a climber trying to advance
herself and stepping on people and emotions along the way. Some
may take this to be about the music business. Yes, there was some
inspiration from my career as I’ve watched people use this means to
get ahead. It’s hard to mix business and art together without getting
into…… difficult situations!

After my first show, someone asked if this was about a certain former
man in my life. No, not really. It’s all about interpretation. Everyone
knows a person who is an opportunist – someone who studies what
others have and wants if for himself or herself. These people don’t
care at all about who they step on or what they take – emotionally or
physically – from others.

This is a song about calling people out on their grabage…and trying
to hold them accountable. It’s for those of us who’ve had it happen to
us finally putting our feelings into words and telling it like it is.

Ok... so that’s song #1, “The Opportunist,” from “Make Everything
Bright!” I hope you enjoy the blogs. Please feel free to write back and
let me know what the song may mean to you. If you didn’t see the
blog from last week, please visit my blog page on the website for an
update! I’m also attaching the video blog here for you to view.

Thanks & have a nice weekend!
Peace & love,

BRIGHT, NOT BITTER! 

 
 
 


Photo by Griffin Norman

Since the U.S. release of Make Everything Bright a few weeks ago, it’s been a busy time of booking, touring and promoting.  I've had a really nice time playing the new songs, and it’s been great hearing from those of you who bought the record. Thank you!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve started getting questions about how I wrote this group of songs, how I selected the ones to use, and how I go about the writing process.

Most questions focus on what inspired the songs or what is the meaning of a song. As you all know, I don’t hold back in my songwriting and the songs are brutally honest about love, relationships, friendship, and life.

While on tour, two different people – after listening to the new music – asked me if I was doing ok? I was like – hell yeah – I’m ok. Why? Well, they thought the music was about a bad relationship that I must have just gotten out of, and I had become bitter and jaded. That was totally not the case…but it made me think.

I thought, well, I can see where they might get that idea, listening to the music and putting the songs all together. Think about it, I laughed to myself. The record does open with the likes of The Opportunist and closes with You’re A Sorry One. I got it, then. Maybe I need to explain the stories of Make Everything Bright.

So, that’s what we’re going to do over the next few weeks with blogs and video blogs.

I am excited to share the ideas and stories behind each song, but I also want to hear from you. I want to know what you hear and what a song means to you. How does is make you feel? What do you take away from it?

First – for those of you out there who may wonder, if I am that jaded and angry based on the music. Nope! Not at all. Every song is not written from a personal experience. Yes, some are. But, others are based on what I’m seeing in the world today, issues friends may be going through,  an overheard conversation in a coffee shop, or a conversation in my head.

Make Everything Bright is filled with a range of emotions. Some are tied to a sense of loss or pain. And, some are filled with love, passion and optimism. Emotion is missing in so much of today's radio music. Seriously, there is not much feeling and thinking, in Moves Like Jagger or Big Fat Bass (don’t get me wrong…I have a secret love for Britney).

I write to mix the ingredients of life and the human spirit, and hope to create stories that people can relate to and feel a connection.

Next week, we'll start with how the album was put together and the first song, The Opportunist.

Have a safe and relaxing holiday weekend!

Molly

TODAY! US CD RELEASE! 

Newsletter Highlights
* United States release for "Make Everything Bright"
* Tour
* New Video

Good Morning/Afternoon/Night to all you people of the world!!!

Another newsletter keeping you informed of the music....

About a year ago I finished my record, "Make Everything Bright," so that I would have it to sell last summer in Europe. The plan was to come home after the 3 month tour and have a proper release in the United States. However, I came home and found myself tired & distracted from touring. I'm happy to announce that TODAY, I am releasing the record here in the United States, FINALLY! Many of you already have copies of the record. If not, I encourage you to buy buy buy!!! *wink* You can find it here on the Music Page. There are also MANY digital stores like itunes & Amazon that carry the record, as well. Just do a search for Molly Thomas. I am including a preview of one of my songs from the record for you to download, "Leaving in My Blood." I hope you enjoy!!!

This coming Friday night, I will have my CD release show at The Basement here in Nashville. I will be accompanied by Marco Giovino (co-producer) on drums, Kip Winger on bass & Dave Coleman on the electric guitar. Also on the bill will be Otis Gibbs & Brian Ritchey. We'll kick off the evening at 9:30. The poster below says 8:00 but it's actually 9:30.
There are more shows in the next few weeks in Mississippi & Alabama. So please come say hello!!!

Yesterday, I experimented with the video process for the first time and actually surprised myself with a video for my song, "The Ocean." That was alot of fun! I hope you will take time to view it ;)

That's it for now! Many thanks to all of you supporters!!! It's a jungle out there in the music world and to know that you enjoy the music means so much!!! THANK YOU!!!

Peace & Love,
Molly




News From Molly 

Hi Everyone!

It's been awhile since you've heard from me, and I just wanted to catch you up on a few things. First of all, I'm finally getting back into touring and have had a couple of shows recently, and a few more coming up that I want to tell you about. Next Monday, May 23rd, I will be playing in Atlanta at Smith's Olde Bar starting at 8:00 PM. I will be accompanied by Dave Coleman of the Coal Men. All you folks in Atlanta, please come out and say hello... we need your help!!! Tickets are only 5 bucks, so come support the music!!!!

As you may already know, I finished my last record, "Make Everything Bright" last year this time before touring in Europe last summer with Kim Carson. However, I am FINALLY getting around to having the record released in the US. June 28th will be the release date, and I have a few record release shows in July. I will send out another message around that time to promote those shows.

Last month, I had the honor of being a part of the Nashville Film Festival, as Nick Stagliano's film, "A Good Day For It," was a feature film. My song, "Bad Timing" (It's from my 2005 release of "Shoot the Sky."), that I wrote with Mando Saenz,was used in the film. The film is currently traveling to film festivals across the country. 
Also, my dear friend and music pal, Matthew Ryan scored the entire film and did a brilliant job! Matthew, by the way, has a new record coming out soon, so be on the look out!


Molly & writer & director, Nick Stagliano


Nick Stagliano, Matthew Ryan, Molly Thomas, Mando Saenz & Chris Tench

I started a new website to promote my session work as a violinist/composer/arranger. If you have time, please check out that site and listen to some of the various artists I have worked with currently and in the past. The website is: www.dulcetsounds.com

That is all the news I have at the moment... at least that I can remember, :)
Please stay in touch & as always, thank you so very much for your support!

Peace & love,
Molly

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