MP3 Mary Johnson - Says the Water
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11 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, COUNTRY: Country Folk
Coffeehouse patrons and open mic fans remember well those moments they've been surprised. Another musician adjusts the microphone and begins to strum over the murmur of conversation. When she starts to sing, however, the room slowly grows quiet. Chairs are shifted for a better view. Someone turns off the dishwasher. For the rest of the song, each listener feels part of something larger and when she stops they want to hear more. Witnessing the early steps of a gifted singer and songwriter doesn't happen every day. Mary Johnson is one of these. Hailing from a big family in a small town at the foothills of the East Tennessee Smoky Mountains, Mary taught herself to play guitar at the age of 14 so she could put music to the poems she'd been writing ever since she discovered the magic of words. She's found rich sources for her striking lyrics in the real moments of her life. Her love for language has even stretched beyond her own as she's lived briefly in Central America and Spain. While Mary's wanderlust speaks in many of her songs, it is often resolved with a return to what is known. As one great line attests, her heart is made of home. The middle sibling of five, Mary is grateful for all the ways her family continues to encourage and influence her music. The living room of her Tennessee home is a place where musical instruments fill the corners and occupy chairs like party guests, where a stereo bursts out a wide range of musical influences, from beats of hip-hop and flamenco to songwriter sounds of Patti Griffin and Steve Earle and the soulful notes of Nina Simone.
'Says the Water" is Mary's first recording. It was made possible after winning recording time at Audio Media Group, Inc.'s studio in Knoxville, the first place award of the songwriter's showdown hosted by the Bird's Eye View in downtown Knoxville.
As the title suggests, water imagery has a strong presence in this collection of songs. Water flows and changes and storms before returning to its source. Peace, danger, freedom, power-all are present in water. And like the storms and oceans in her lyrics, Mary's maturing style is also in flux. After some time away, she is now happy to be back in North Carolina, living in the musical hotbed of Chapel Hill-Carrboro. Her latest efforts have landed her several well-attended gigs and an honorable mention in the 2002 NC Songwriters Co-op Songwriting Contest. She often performs with longtime friend and vocalist Miriam Chicurel, whose velvety and skillfully-crafted harmonies add new dimensions to the music. Mary continues to follow her music where it leads her. It is charged with new energy and the changes of water and sky. So turn your chair around and give a listen while you have the chance. And let yourself be surprised.
"Mary Johnson's uplifting songs and perspectives will bring a smile to your face. A wonderfully joyful singer with an engaging stage presence and an honesty that rings true, Mary's love for music and performing is contagious, reminding even the most jaded audiences of the reasons they come out to hear live music. Mary Johnson is the real deal."
-Eric Garrison, The Carriage Barn, New Canaan, CT
in partnership with CDbaby (ID 447925)
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