Molly Hanmer & The Midnight Tokers – Drag You Along (single)
“Drag You Along” by Molly Hanmer & The Midnight Tokers, is the second single from the upcoming full-length album – Stuck In A Daydream. The music borrows from Bossa Nova, jazz and even some samba, and was written and recorded at a time of grief. Hanmer is from the Bay area and her band seems to be named after a Steve Miller Band lyric from the song “The Joker.” The reason I mentioned that is because I find it quite clever and it enticed me to listen all-the more to this great track and subsequently find a great new band.
The players in the band are Molly Hanmer on guitar, harmonica, vocals
Bryce Abood on bass, upright bass and vocals, Keith Palmer on drums, percussion and vocals with John Bird on organ, piano, Wurlitzer and vocals. Also appearing are guests Marvin Etzioni on cajon drum and Ashley Jarmack on alto and bass flutes. Produced by, Marvin Etzioni, and engineered by Sheldon Gomberg and Billy Mims. Essentially an Americana band with psychedelic folk, rock & blues, but this track is more rooted in jazz for a twist that takes them beyond the static norms of some of these genres and into their own special blend of music.
Hanmer’s voice alone is worth the price of admission, with a melancholy sound that draws you and keeps you there for the whole song with some fantastic lyrics to top it off. The music is very organic and percussive, and the flute adds a very welcoming touch to keep you smiling. This is a voice you either like or you don’t, and it turns out to be right up my alley, as she sings with the best of them in today’s variety of female vocalists. There is no mistaking her voice once you hear it, and the track does the rest of the business to see it through and keep the listener’s attention.
This isn’t something you find every day, but the vocals, once again, are so unique it’s hard to place anywhere else in the mainstream, although very familiar sounding at the same time. She blends into the current woodwork as far as the songwriting goes though, and the band compliment it all the way without taking any spotlight. It’s all about taking the time to stop and smell the roses for a while when everything is getting dictated by talking heads, as the lyrics clearly describe without having to string the words together too much. The ending result is a mellow kind of song with a hypnotic groove.
The track makes a great single and intrigues the ears for more from Hanmer and her excellent band of players, but don’t miss their first single from it as well, as they gear up for the album release, because the more you hear to whet the appetite for the album, the more the album will entice and there’s no reason to let it slip by if you missed it. Together, they prepare this band for a well-received incoming collection of folk-heavy music. I’m glad to know I’ll be hearing more from them after reviewing this marvelous song.
Photo by Dave Clancy