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The Blind Tiger: Wurlitzer Prize

Mar 27th, 2012 | By | Category: Entertainment, Sounds
The Wurlitzer Prize

Wurlitzer Prize. Photo by Keith Warther.

Molly McGinn is one of the more recognizable names in Greensboro’s music scene. She’s been around for a while, playing in acts such as the beloved Amelia’s Mechanics. Recently, she’s been playing with a new group – Wurlitzer Prize. Backed up by half of Possum Jenkins and a member of Common Clay, they’re a little more bluesy and upbeat than Amelia’s Mechanics, but still have the Americana roots sound. Though there are no Wurlitzers involved in their set, there’s an array of other instruments in the band. Dave Willis (guitar), Jared Church (bass), Brent Buckner (harmonica!), and Kelly Linville (drums) back Molly up beautifully.

I had the opportunity to see Wurlitzer Prize at the Blind Tiger on Saturday, March 24th, with my trusty sidekick, Keith Warther, to take pictures. They were playing a benefit show for Appalachian Voices, a cause definitely worth looking into. A post written by Molly McGinn herself was featured on Avant Greensboro last Friday, and it has more information about Appalachian Voices.

We got there just in time for leftover storms from the afternoon to push everyone together inside. The band appeared soon after, and Molly greeted the crowd with a smile before diving straight into their first song (their namesake – “Wurlitzer Prize” by Waylon Jennings). I immediately liked them – they’re definitely different from Amelia’s Mechanics, but in the best way ever. Molly pours her whole soul into this performance, dancing around the stage so much that Keith found it hard to take a picture that wasn’t blurry.

The band sounded great. Dave’s guitar solos brought energy to songs with steady tempos, and the

Molly McGinn

Molly McGinn of Wurlitzer Prize. Photo by Keith Warther.

drummer’s beats kicked ass. On several songs, Molly harmonized along with Dave and their voices sounded incredible together. They were all having fun, too – exchanging bright grins and laughs during and between songs. Along with covers including “You’re Going To Make Me Lonesome When You Go” (Bob Dylan) and “Keys To The Kingdom” (Abigail Washburn), they played a few old Amelia’s Mechanics songs and “Does Your Man Drink?”

Towards the end of their set, the band progressed into a sound slightly reminiscent of jam bands, but not in a bad way. There were some funky vibes coming from the bass and drums, and, mixed with Molly’s voice, created a unique sound. It was somewhat bluesy funk n’ roll, if I could stick a label on it.

Overall, they were great. They exceeded my expectations (which were not low to begin with) by far. Molly’s charismatic stage presence combined with her strong voice made her the prime focus of the room. Her band, which is essentially Possum Jenkins, was fantastic, from the harmonica fill-ins contributed by Brent Buckner to the thumping bass riffs of Jared Church.

Molly was simply delightful, as always. Stay tuned for an interview with her this Friday, March 30.

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