It’s as if their musical paths were bound to cross.
Meet sophomore Kasey Horton and senior Molly Miller. One is classically trained in the viola. The other has a passion for the electric guitar. Both are UNCG students getting ready to embark on an exciting tour to promote their music.
With lead singer Molly McGinn, they are Amelia’s Mechanics. The indy-Americana trio’s instrumentation and vocal harmonies traverse classical, country and jazz genres producing a sound they describe as “vintage country with a moonshine concerto.”
Kasey is a music major who’s studied the viola since she was 11. An anthropology major, Molly got her musical start as a young teenager, playing bluegrass with “a bunch of old men.” They met through McGinn, a singing and songwriting talent in the Triad with a loyal following.
As it turned out, all three had just ended relationships. Some women get a new hairstyle after a breakup. “We said, ‘Let’s start a band.’ We just started playing music,” said Molly.
Vintage country with a moonshine concerto.
That was a year ago. Now, Amelia’s Mechanics is celebrating the release of its debut album – “North, South” — with a release party on Feb. 12 at The Blind Tiger. Opening for the band will be jazz vocalist and UNCG alumna Martha Basset, famous for her work on the SONY Classics film “Junebug,” and Jim Avett, folk singer, father of The Avett Brothers and the band’s producer.
It’s all in the name
Inspired by their namesake and other pioneers, the band writes and sings about life’s triumphs and tragedies. “We all have an interest in Amelia Earhart and her great tragedy,” Kasey said. “So we thought we could be Amelia’s Mechanics, her support team, the people that helped her do what she wanted to do.”
The creative process is a true collaboration for the band. “We all work together as far as the arrangement,” Kasey explains. “We don’t write anything down. It all comes together in a final product. Our lyrics are something I think a lot of people appreciate. People tell us to turn up the microphones because they’re really interested in the lyrics.”
With an extensive tour scheduled – Nashville, Charleston, Atlanta and elsewhere – the women are flying high from the following they’ve developed.
At one recent show, one of several benefit concerts, the fire marshal was called because the venue had reached maximum occupancy. Fans who saw the band perform in Florida have purchased airline tickets to attend the upcoming release party. And Robin Copley, sound engineer for WUNC’s “The State of Things,” picked Amelia’s Mechanics as one of his favorite musical guests of 2009.
“I used to say, I wonder what would happen if something great like what’s happening right now happened,” Molly said. “It’s amazing.”
Can’t wait for the release party? Check out Amelia’s Mechanics’ promotional DVD on YouTube.
Photography by Alex Maness, Freelance Photographer