Moonshine Mollys ready to share new sound

Moonshine Mollys — Cassandra Smith, Mitra Kostamo and Rene Qualizza — perform during the second day of SunFest country music festival.

The future is looking bright for the Moonshine Mollys.

After working hard in the past year to refine their sound, the Cedar-area- and Errington-based country music group is looking forward to showcasing a new sound and new songs this summer, starting with SunFest in Duncan.

Moonshine Mollys — Cassandra Smith, Mitra Kostamo and Rene Qualizza — perform during the second day of the four-day country music festival that reportedly could draw up to 30,000 fans, and they’ll grace the Saloon Stage Friday, Aug. 1. It will be the biggest venue Moonshine Mollys have played on Vancouver Island so far.

“I’m just really excited that it’s a huge platform for us,” said Smith. “We’re on the Saloon Stage this year, and our contract stated we will get consideration for the main stage next year.”

Inspired by Patsy Cline, Dixie Chicks, Sugarland, Willie Nelson, Miranda Lambert and Eddy Rabbit, the band was formed by Kostamo, Smith and Denise Gray in April 2012. Qualizza joined the group in May 2013 following the departure of Gray.

Moonshine Mollys have been working with Jona Kristinsson at Indie Entertainment as their manager, and Smith says their sound has been evolving.

“It’s a new, exciting time,” she said.

“We’ve been working more on our vocals, and that’s a strong point,” noted Qualizza.

Qualizza believes the band has been moving forward since releasing its debut album, Free as a Bird, last June.

“I know we’ve definitely become a lot more confident on stage as a group,” she said. “It feels more in unison.”

Smith feels they have a tighter sound now, and she says working with Kristinsson has been “so awesome.”

After SunFest, Moonshine Mollys will be performing at the Coombs Country Music Jamboree Aug. 22-24.