Clad in a vintage red floral dress, brown leather combat boots and round-framed glasses, Ella Patrick channels Momma Molasses, a name that comes from a lyric of Michael Hurley song, “Momma Molasses broke my glasses.” The name helps Ella transform on stage — plus, “it’s fun and people remember it,” she says.
Artists like Bob Dylan, Michael Hurley, Janis Joplin, Hank Williams Sr. and Doc Watson, and groups like The Carter Family are a few of Patrick’s musical inspirations.
“One venue where I played called my genre ‘Alt-Country, Americana, Indie-Folk and Outsider,’ which I think sums it up pretty well, but each of my songs has one wonky and weird chord that makes it a little bit different.”
She also cites her uncle as a muse. “My uncle sang a lot of old country music. When I was little he bought me an old 1960s Suzuki guitar at a thrift store and always encouraged my love for music.”
Patrick also credits Carthage, her hometown, for influencing her career: “Growing up in a small, southern community has helped shaped my sound, which is something that I never really meant to happen, but it just kind of did,” she says. “I grew up singing a lot of Gospel music in church, so that’s something I’ve always carried with me.”
Momma Molasses’ second album, “Anthems from A Broken Heart,” (launched June 24) was produced at Casino Guitars in Southern Pines by Patrick’s friend, James Villone. “She’s good at music, and not many people are,” Villone says. “When I meet someone who is good at music, I automatically want to help them.”
“I just want to make music and make a living,” Ella says. “To do that, and to be able to do it consistently … that would be awesome.”