Rewind: Molly Winters

  • Photo by Meghan Ralston
From the December 13, 2012 edition

Molly Winters has been putting her twist on Americana in Columbus for a good long while. With her successful Salty Caramels project disbanded, Winters debuts a different lineup of ladies as The New Salty Caramels (Sarah Overdier, Emily Ng and Paige Strickling) Friday at Woodlands.

Best show I ever played: I opened for Lukas Nelson at a place in Fort Collins, Colorado called Hodi’s Half Note, and the camaraderie that I had with them, it was like that feeling of touring with a bigger band. And just being in another city and being well-received. No one knew who I was. It was just like Molly Winters solo. The reception I was getting just reminded me that I have this special sound that’s very unique, and I may as well travel because the more people who get to hear that unique sound, the more fans you get.

Right before I went to Colorado I was out in California. I played at this place — it was awesome — Pacific Beach. This is probably my second favorite. I could carry my guitar, my ukulele, my cables, my merch, everything — walk down the sidewalk next to the ocean with all your gear. And then you get to the gig, and you set up, and you soundcheck, and you play, and there’s people there, and they give you a very generous bar tab, you sell a bunch of merchandise, there wasn’t even a cover, and you make a bunch of money at the end of the night. And then you walk next to the ocean with your gear back to the hotel room. And just that feeling of “I could do this every single day.” The next morning, you get up and you go surfing.

Worst show I ever played: I showed up at a venue, and we were sound checking, and the sound engineer said, “Check the mic! Check the mic!” And the microphone in front of me had no cable. The second worst might have been wearing a Shazzbots uniform, and it was like 104 degrees out on blacktop, and I almost passed out. And then the third worst, I got carried off stage. This was a long time ago, but in the early part of my career, I didn’t know I had to give up drinking on stage. Maybe this was a lesson learned. I drank because the same gig was double booked. This guy wouldn’t acknowledge that we had come to play the show, and he had all these fake guitars on stage. They were just props… No one was there except for me and my bandmates and that guy and the bartender. So I have to wait until the other guy plays, and all the while I’m just drinking at the bar. At one point I was just playing guitar looking out the window.

Best show I ever saw: I would say seeing Paul McCartney live, Bob Dylan live, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, even Kris Kristofferson. Billy Joe Shaver. Those would probably be my top, but I’m sure there’s more.

Favorite place to perform: Well, in town, I hate to say it — as a promoter, it sounds weird saying Woodlands, but I’m saying Woodlands as a musician. I like playing there because it has really good sound and a nice rotation of audience. You have a place to park and a very cozy green room, and it seems like every time I play there it’s a big show. It seems to be part of something bigger, like regionally or nationally.