Abbie Gardner is a fiery dobro player with an infectious smile. Whether performing solo or with Red Molly, her acclaimed tales of love and loss, both gritty and sweet, are propelled by her impeccable slide guitar playing. Solo performances feature truly unique use of the dobro as a solo instrument, bouncing between a solid rhythmic backbone and ripping lead lines all in support of her voice and songs.
No Depression says she displays “uncommon versatility” on her 2018 CD Wishes on a Neon Sign. The recording is a fully-produced collection of 12 original songs featuring one co-written with Chris Stapleton. After his first listen, WFUV’s John Platt raves, “she’s not only a first-rate Dobro player, but a songwriter to be reckoned with.”
With the help of patrons, Abbie has spent the last year making the record she’s always wanted to make. It’s intimate, real and raw – her dobro and voice recorded at home, without a band or any studio tricks to hide behind. The result is stunning – you can hear every breath, every chuckle, as if you are in the room with her. The opening track, Down the Mountain starts with a powerful bluesy stomp, but later begs, “send my prayers down the river in little paper boats, they’re too heavy for heaven so I hope they float.” The song See You Again encapsulates the loneliness and sense of restless waiting we’ve all been feeling in the line “even time holds her breath.” In the space since her previous record, Abbie’s vocals and dobro playing have both matured to share the spotlight equally. Though, in this case, the stage is a tiny recording studio and the spotlight a candle.