Arts & Entertainment

Molasses Creek’s new gospel-inspired album a fan request

Molasses Creek warms up in a backstage venue before an off-island concert. Photo by Justin Casey

Molasses Creek warms up in a backstage venue before an off-island concert. Photo by Justin Casey

By Connie Leinbach

Molasses Creek’s new album is something people have been requesting of the band.

Newly-released “People Get Ready” is a collection of gospel-inspired songs—songs with a lot of meaning.

From a long list of possible songs—about 40—Gary Mitchell, the group’s founder/leader, said they wanted to be careful about the lyrics.

While many are based in the Christian religion, as is the tradition with old-timey and bluegrass tunes, this album tries to expand the world view of some of the songs, he said.

And that’s part of the motivation for this album.

“Religion is such a big part of the world these days, and the more inclusive and accepting we can be, the less wars we’ll have,” he said about the song selections.

For example, the song “You Go to Your Church, I’ll Go to Mine,” is a traditional, denominational song.

“We wrote a third verse that breaks it out and expands the religions,” he said.

Similarly, “For the Beauty of the Earth,” while it’s out of the hymn book, is a song that can be appreciated by all no matter what religion one practices.

The song “Gone Home” was done on the former Hee Haw television show back in the 1960s and describes the sadness of losing people we love.

It particularly resonated with Mitchell since losing longtime friend and Ocrafolk Festival logistics coordinator Chuck Hotchkiss earlier this year.

Cover art for Molasses Creek's new album was created by Kitty Mitchell.

Cover art for Molasses Creek’s new album was created by Kitty Mitchell.

As for the title track, “People Get Ready,” Mitchell said the band rewrote one of the lyrics for Donald Trump.

“You’ll have to listen to it to hear it,” he said.

This is the group’s thirteenth album since 1993, and along with Mitchell, features David Tweedie, fiddle; Kim France, double bass; Gerald Hampton, mandolin; and special guests Jubal Creech, percussion and Stan Brown, banjo.

Kitty Mitchell, one of the original trio with her husband Gary and Tweedie, created the cover art.

Molasses Creek plays at 8 p.m. Thursday evenings and in the Ocrafolk Opry Wednesday nights, both in the Deepwater Theater on School Road. CDs are available for sale at Deepwater and numerous locations around the island.

They are the hosts of the annaul Ocrafolk Festival June.