Molly Baron sings a new song

2016-08-23 06:00
Molly Baron (left) with guest artist Salome and producer Aubrey Arries.  PHOTO: Peter Abrahams

Molly Baron (left) with guest artist Salome and producer Aubrey Arries. PHOTO: Peter Abrahams

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“If I take on something, I want to know everything about it.”

That’s why former Rockets drummer Molly Baron left the band, to focus on the guitar and jazz. Now, he’s preparing to debut his second jazz-driven offering Those Days.

Plumstead’s Molly will be launching the album at West End in Rylands on Saturday 27 August from 19:00 where he’ll be joined by guest artist Salome and the Jeodhouse Band, as well as some of his musical brothers, for an evening that will take the audience on a journey from the beginning of his career to now.

Molly explains he started working on the new album with friend and producer Aubrey Arries about a year ago. He would go to Aubrey’s studio in Mitchell’s Plain after work and the two would get enveloped in the recording process until about two or three in the morning. The result is an album which Molly says is “very guitar and vocal-driven,” which is surprising considering his 30 year career as a pop drummer.

Molly joined the Rockets at the tender age of 12 in the late ’60s. Soon after, the band won a national Battle of the Bands competition held at the old Luxurama Theatre.

By the ’70s he was touring Europe with the band where they even opened for Creedence Clearwater Revival. His time overseas also saw him meet icons like John Lennon and record at Radio Luxembourg along with a European television appearance.

“Those years we never had TV here, but they had black and white TV there,” Molly recalls. “Life was so advanced there.”

He left The Rockets in 2000, to “venture out and do my own thing”. His first priority was to fulfil his desire to “catch up” on his guitar playing. “In my blood I always loved jazz music,” Molly explains. The pop music he was playing with The Rockets was too simple for him. “Jazz challenges you, you don’t challenge it.”

He released his first album Brand New in 2008. Two of the tracks off the album “I Wanna Know What Love Is” and “Higher and Higher” went on to be included on international compilation albums.

While Molly admits that as a musician he’ll never be truly satisfied with his work, he says Those Days is a lot better than Brand New. “The production is good and the quality of the songs is good.”

Molly says his first album was far more personal. “You could feel that I was getting all the stuff out of my system.” This time though, he says the songs are far more “jolly and enjoyable”.

He also took a step back from producing this time, handing the reigns over to Aubrey. “I thought with this album, let me sit back and use my ears.”

Those Days features the voice and guitar of Richard Ceasar on the track “Those Days” with Salome joining Molly for “My Everything” and surprising dance addition “I want your loving”.

“That dance song just came into my mind one day and we just developed the song.”

Having worked with a long list of South Africa’s most legendary musicians, Molly feels it’s important for the musicians who are “still fit and able to play” to give back. “We always tend to wait until a musician has passed on, then we want to do a benefit concert for the family, which is fine, but I think we should do things before that.”

With this in mind, a portion of the proceeds from Molly’s launch will be given to Sammy Webber, who has been playing on despite his visual impairment.

After his launch on Saturday, Molly will head out on tour with Jeodhouse, taking his new album to Port Elizabeth, East London, King Williams Town and Mossel Bay. V Tickets for Molly Baron’s launch on Saturday at West End cost R100 from or from Lynn on 071 260 7002. For reservations email or call 021 637 9028.

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