PATIO SHOW :: Momma Molasses

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PATIO SHOW :: Momma Molasses

Currently based in Johnson City, T.N. , and originally from the Pines of North Carolina, (just south of the Pedimont) Momma Molasses' music is truly "Americana", influenced by a broad rage of sounds; Folk, Alt-Country, Piedmont Blues, Soul, Bluegrass, Swing, and Old-Time which blend into a uniquely timeless sound. Harnessing her rolling contralto voice which scales over homespun finger-picked guitar, her sound is warm, rich, and passionate, with songs that embrace, and captivate listeners.

​ Momma Molasses is the musical project of singer-songwriter Ellen "Ella" Patrick. Growing up with a deep love of music, Patrick began playing stringed instruments at an early age while singing gospel music in church, and learning folk ballads from her parents dusty late 60’s record collection. She spent most of her childhood summers in a Swamp south of her home in Moore County, where she began playing for friends around the campfire, or sneaking out in canoes after dark to sing by herself to the moon. While in college at Warren Wilson, just outside of Asheville, Patrick became greatly influenced by Appalachian folk music, and studied old-time, murder ballad singing, and bluegrass music.

Two years ago, Patrick decided cook up some songs of her own, with a recipe consisting of equal parts Southern Appalachia, 1940's Country Swing, and 1960's folk revival. With her sweetly stirring voice, Momma Molasses has been likened by listeners to Patsy Cline, "Mother" Maybelle Carter, early (pre-rock n’ roll) Janis Joplin, and a "vintage" sound that should be playing on an old record. Now with a year and a half of touring under her belt, and a self released EP, Momma Molasses recently released a new album “Anthems from a Broken Heart”. Chronicling the process of falling “out of love” and into self-respect, the album is a collection fit for those broken by past relationships, aiming to bring a sense of power, self-worth, and clarity from the knowledge that loneliness, heartbreak, and hope all walk hand in hand.

“There is power in simplicity, and there is power in sadness. Such power is the backbone of bluegrass, country, and swamp-pop music: genres that offer the dignity of straightforward communication. A good folk singer/songwriter tells a story, of ordinary people in situations and suffering that are emotionally extraordinary, even as we know they happen to everyone. They trust the listener to appreciate such tales, and empathize with the triumphs and the inevitable sins of the songs’ subjects. In sharing, they allow us an opportunity to share experience—ours and others’ These techniques and philosophies of storytelling are well-embodied...Momma Molasses explores the limitations of life with traditional American rhythms, straightforward melodies, and clear, sophisticated lyricism.”
-Jonathan Penton - Unlikelystories

"Sweeter than honey, Momma Molasses sings like a quilt comforts.
Warmth exudes from the pores of songs as crafted by the North Carolinian import. . . . Now located in Johnson City, the solo singer hearkens to a time when the sound of a voice equipped with meaningful lyrics needed little instrumentation.
So Momma Molasses accompanies herself with but a guitar and songs of note. As heard on her EP, “Slowly is Holy,” riveting odes lift a veil on vulnerability and strength. Gifted with a nuanced voice, she sings such captivating tunes as “Only Road” as if whittled from the finest barks of folklore. Sweet yet strong, that’s Momma Molasses."
-Tom Netherland - Bristol Heralod Courier