THE NEXT CHAPTER: Checking in with Mary Bue

Mary Bue is a musician whose music explores all aspects of life. Her sound is both wistful and whimsical. Mary is the kind of genuine artist who inspires you to do better and be better. When we introduced Mary on the blog, we were swept away by her catchy single that takes an unconventional look at love. Her music is filled with  piercing lyrics that hit home; her passion is contagious. It’s been a pleasure catching up with her. Rhythm & Ruffle is thrilled to have her as one of our Featured Artists!

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A MUSICIAN?

In junior high, I used to ride my bike through the Minnesota country roads and trails with my headphones blaring. I would sit with my cassette tapes and a pen and write down every word that the singer was singing if there wasn’t a lyric sheet. In 8th grade, I heard about Mary Lou Lord singing her songs in the Boston subways; which sounded like a pretty rad thing to do. I began piano lessons in fourth grade, but asked for an electric guitar on my birthday and started writing songs on it. I had the beginnings of a band with my best friend at the time, Jessie – we used to write super silly songs together and I kept going deeper into music, writing tons of poetry. When I was 16 I put on a show (all covers) at the local coffee shop, and then a year later a true gig of all originals (at this point I had switched to songwriting on the piano). Since then it’s been a steady, long drive with lots of winding roads & detours … but the passion is always there!

IF YOU COULD ONLY LISTEN TO ONE SONG FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE –
WHICH ONE WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?

SUPER HARD QUESTION! I love Jane Siberry’s “It Can’t Rain All the Time” which I heard for the first time in 8th grade (a pivotal time!) when watching the movie “The Crow.” Jane Siberry is, in my opinion, a genius songwriter with magical elements and textures in her instrumentation, as well as her words. This song, while sad in tone (especially put into context with “The Crow” movie, if you’ve ever watched it) has a hopeful element to it. She alternates between singing and talking softly. It fits into that “beautiful/sad” category of songs that I love so much.

A sample of lyrics:
We walk the narrow path
Between the smoking skies
Sometimes you can barely tell the difference
Between darkness and light
Do we have faith
In what we believe?
The truest test
Is when we cannot
When we cannot see

WHICH FEMALE ARTIST HAS INFLUENCED YOU THE MOST AND WHY?

Definitely Tori Amos. Especially the “Boys for Pele” era. I am a sucker for lyrics – hers can be so obscure and whimsical, full of imagery and darkness and weirdness. She was a game-changer. I started song writing on guitar, but as I listened to her I was inspired to shift to the piano as my main instrument. I’m heading back over to the guitar again now to shake things up … Tori always holds a key to my heart.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR FELLOW, EMERGING FEMALE MUSICIANS?

Keep your chins up, ladies! Write from your heart, stay true to your art, be kind and carry a sword and shield! It’s a jungle out there.

WHAT ARE YOUR IMMEDIATE MUSIC GOALS?

I’m about to go back into the studio this fall to record my 6th album. I received a regional career development grant in January to write an album on my second instrument – so this new release will be mostly, if not all, on guitar. It is slated for release on Chaperone Records in early 2015 and I plan to tour the south & west with it in late winter (hopefully getting a chance to play the SXSW GoGirls showcase again!). I also will be writing more songs for a side project yet to be named – but more rocking/raucous/radical than the solo stuff.

HOW IS MARY BUE GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD?

I want to bare some soul, keep digging deeper into my psyche & the collective unconscious for more songs, and not give up.
I want to show the world that you can be a successful musician with kindness & compassion rather than succeed with cut-throat competition/ambition.
I want to share my eco-ethics in a way that is inspiring rather than off-putting. I’m a vegan and I KNOW that if people reduced their consumption of animal products (even if they didn’t go all the way to vegan – even just starting a Meatless Monday or eat vegan before 6 pm like Mark Bittman suggests) that we could start to make a serious dent in climate change/global warming/animal cruelty. Plus, you’ll just feel better and your heart will thank you for it.

You can follow Mary Bue on Twitter and like her page on Facebook!

Photo Credit: Jason Kokal (Rainy River Images)

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the garden lifestyle

“I sit in my garden, gazing upon a beauty that cannot gaze upon itself. And I find sufficient purpose for my day.” -Robert Brault

My Uncle has a garden. It’s amazing.

Throughout my childhood, I would explore this little eden-like space; wide-eyed and breathless. Perhaps the classic children’s novel, The Secret Garden fuelled my interest and set my imagination on a high, never to be disappointed.

Now as a young adult – it’s a place that is simply refreshing, calming and unspoiled.

Sometimes, all you need; is everything you already have.

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