Bunk House to welcome Momma Molasses

Singer-musician Momma Molasses holds her signature acoustic guitar. The Bristol-based artist will be performing at the Bunk House in Bulls Gap Saturday night.

The Bunk House in Bulls Gap is welcoming another up-and-coming regional act to its venue.

Singer-songwriter Momma Molasses is heading to Hawkins County with her trio for a Saturday night concert, and Bunk House owner Glenn Spayth is ready to watch her perform live for the first time at his venue.

Keeping up with the Bunk House’s tradition, Momma Molasses is another in a line of young performers who come to venue to showcase their talents and skills.

“(Momma Molasses) is relatively local, from the Tri-Cities area,” Spayth said. “She’s funny, and she puts on a good show.”

Momma Molasses brings a unique voice to East Tennessee, according to Spayth. blending Americana, old-time, alt-country, Piedmont blues, swing, Appalachian, swamp-pop and bluegrass.

“She’s got a really nice, soulful voice,” he said. She’s got a lot of emotion and feeling in her words, and her voice is so unique.

“When you hear (Momma Molasses), you know it’s her.”

Originally from the Sandhills region of North Carolina in Carthage, and currently based in Bristol, Virginia, Momma Molasses is the musical alter ego of Ellen Patrick. From an early age, Patrick has played several stringed instruments and learned to sing in her family’s church. She became interested in folk music listening to her parents’ record collection from the 1960s.

Frequently compared by listeners to female greats such as Patsy Cline, Maybelle Carter and an “acoustic” Janis Joplin, Momma Molasses has an unforgettable vocal tone, and a unique guitar style, and Spayth said this is the kind of music he wants to hear.

Spayth also said Momma Molasses is different from other music he’s heard, especially on the radio.

“Every song I hear on the radio, they all sound the same to me,” he said. “She’s way different from them.”

Tom Netherland of the Bristol Herald Courier is also a fan of her music, and finds her unique style impressive.

“Sweeter than honey, Momma Molasses sings like a quilt comforts,” he said of Patrick’s musical style.

After two years on the road, Momma Molasses recently released a new album called “Anthems From a Broken Heart,” which deals with heartbreak from past relationships, loneliness and self-worth.

In addition to touring full-time, Patrick curates a weekly radio program, broadcasting live from The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, on WBCM-LP Radio Bristol in Bristol, Virginia. She also hosts a monthly concert series for emerging musicians called “For The Song’s Sake” at Bloom Cafe in Bristol, Tennessee.