Muddy Creek Muse: Molly McGinn

Welcome Bill Heath and Shana Whitehead of Muddy Creek Café and Music Hall!  Be on the lookout for their Muddy Creek Muse column in upcoming issues. In Greek mythology, a muse was any of the nine sister goddesses who presided over song, poetry, art, and science; this column will highlight local women who embody the concept of muse as masters of song and music. All featured performers may be seen at Muddy Creek Music Hall!

88---Muddy-Creek-Cafe---Top-of-Ad-sfw Growing up in Beaverdam, about an hour’s drive from Madison, Wisconsin, home of the beloved “Badgers,” and not being into playing basketball, can limit your activities immensely. It can also be a blessing in disguise, as in the case of Molly McGinn. When she found a way to humor her friends by writing silly little songs with a guitar, she was on to something that has stayed with her throughout her life. Molly graduated from Elon University in 1996, with a BA in English, with concentration in creative writing, and a minor in art and jazz studies. That paved the way for Molly to become an award- winning writer and journalist, musician, songwriter and digital publisher.  She has been involved in the local music scene since taking a journalist job for a local newspaper in 2000.

In 288---Muddy-Creek-Muse---14685028067_89341b4c44_o-sfw002 Molly found herself burned out on journalism and uninspired by music, so she took a job as a senior writer with Kindermusik International. It was then she realized that music was bigger than she had previously thought, and it catapulted her back into music, with a new found love and appreciation for it, and the impact it has on the listener.

In August of 2014, after two years of inspirational research about The Great Dismal Swamp, a natural treasure of North Carolina, she released “Postcards from the Swamp.” As a musician, also having a “day” job can certainly put a restraint on how much time there is for music, although Molly seems to balance the two seamlessly. When I realized how often she performed, I figured she must be a full-time musician. When I decided to write an article on her, I researched her a bit, and was truly impressed at her accomplishments. She is truly an inspiration for all of you musicians out there that juggle a life of music and work, by keeping the quality and integrity of her music at a very high level, while also maintaining a solid professional career.

Inspired by the storytelling abilities of Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain, combined with “community based stories,” Molly not only entertains with her writing style, but also educates the listener on topics that might have otherwise remained untold.

The fi88---Muddy-Creek-Muse---14869090634_88d5306f77_o-sfwrst time Molly performed at Muddy Creek, I remember thinking she was a brilliant songwriter, and that she possessed a warm, soulful voice, combined with a witty charm and graceful presence. Upon talking with her after her performance, I was equally impressed with her being humble and very down to earth. That’s a rare combination of talents indeed!

It’s no surprise that Molly surrounds herself with talented musicians. In 2012, Dave Willis was hosting a monthly songwriter’s night at a local venue, drawing writers and musicians from the area, including bassist Jared Church, and harp-player Brent Buckner. When these three combined their talents with Molly’s, they formed the group “Wurlitzer Prize.” They mix vintage country songs with original music, and have carved out a name for themselves as an outstanding musical act. Dave shares the lead vocal responsibilities with Molly, and the musicianship of Dave, Jared and Brent is a real treat to watch. Molly has gone on record as describing their sound as “a little bit vintage country, a little bit Taj Mahal, a little bit Tom Waits, and a little bit Black Keys.” After watching them perform, I would have to agree, and add that the chemistry between all of them is a show within a show that keeps the listener fully engaged and totally entertained.