Justified

““Justified” comes from a very trying place, but it’s one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever made,” says Molly O. “It’s a very personal record, but I think fans will hear a lot of themselves in it.”

“Justified” is Molly’s first release in almost two decades. Though it can be considered her debut solo release, and was recorded with a great cast of collaborators, most notably her longtime musical partner, Andy Dee.

“There’s no one I’d rather make a record with than Andy,” Molly says. “His vision and know-how have always inspired me to make my best music.”

“Justified” comes from a difficult situation: a draining, hurtful and prolonged lawsuit against Molly’s former hometown of Hayward, Wisconsin. After making her name fronting Warner Reprise recording artists Molly & The Heymakers (1987—1997), Molly turned her eye to venue ownership when she opened The Pavilion, a wine bar and music club, in 2007.

It wasn’t long, though, before the City of Hayward adopted and enforced a restrictive outdoor music ordinance against Molly while she was playing at The Pavilion. In 2010, Molly came back and applied for an outdoor music permit but the City Council and the Mayor denied her application. Molly then took the city to court and argued passionately for the First Amendment rights of musicians everywhere. Nearly three years later, the court sided with Molly.

“I had been through everything – defamation, character assaults, loss of livelihood – but I knew I was in the right,” Molly says. “I kept my head held high and emerged triumphant. I’d never felt that vindicated before.”

“I always felt I was justified in what I did, even in the darkest times,” she continues. “That’s where the title of the new record comes from – I’m justified.”

The energetic collection of songs pulls from her experiences in court, her personal life and her decades-long experience as a working musician, and the result is a rowdy and vibrant group of tunes that range from party songs to introspective ballads. The musicians on the record have also coalesced into Molly’s newest backing group, The Big Water Band.

 

The   Reviews

After nearly two decades away from the recording studio, Molly O is back with vengeance on Justified, her solo debut. Old pal and creative collaborator Andy Dee also on board as producer, engineer and expert wrangler of most anything with strings. Molly displays her fire and finesse on violin, mandolin and guitar — and a few talented friends, old and new, contribute to this really fine record: Ed Willett on cello, in-demand session drummer Jeremy Hanson and current Danger Band members Randy Wydra and Sean Okamoto. But the stars here are the songs — Molly’s writing has been re-energized with the struggles and triumphs of the past couple years. Standout songs like the title track, “Boulevard,” and “Imaginary Lines” carry pointed observations on current issues — and even when she lets go on the Caribbean-style stomp “Rum,” there’s an underlying knowledge the fun in the sun is only a momentary diversion.

                                                                                                                                              – Jeffrey Jones, WOJB

 

There’s a nice combination of cleverness, wisdom and just a little bit of vinegar in these songs — all my favorite things. Molly and Andy have risen above the typical Americana thing here and made something special.

  – Kevin Bowe, singer, songwriter and producer

 

Molly O is on the march, blazing a musical path with her trademark electric violin, smoke in her voice and fire in her heart. Molly O can move your feet. She can also move your heart. This, as I like to say, is music for grownups. From the knowing depths of “Carry On” to the free-striding bounce of “Castle Rock,” Molly O’s new album is filled with music that reflects its maker: reflective, defiant, searing, gentle — Justified!

– Mike Perry, New York Times best-selling author

The Missing Lyrics

Build A Wallstar

There comes a point you realize
You’ve lost your appetite for compromise
The outreached hand just pulled away
Don’t feed me promises, get out of my way

I’m not about to run
I’m not about to buy a gun
I’ll build a wall
I’ll build a wall

We’re standing in the combat zone
Wondering who’s the power behind the throne
Manipulation steals the day
But we want it back now it is time to repay
You can fight your own
Me and mine, well, we’re going home

And build a wall
Build a wall of mud and bone, sweat and stone
I’m gonna build it up to protect my home
Brick by brick by stone by stone

I’m gonna build it straight
I’m going to build it tall
I’ll build a wall
I’ll build a wall

I’m not about to run
I’m not about to buy a gun
I’ll build a wall
I’ll build a wall

MOLLY: lead and backing vocals, violins, acoustic guitar
ANDY: electric and baritone guitars, backing vocals
PETER ANDERSON: drums
JANE ALECKSON: bass
ED WILLETT: cello