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A Dirty Dozen with MARY BRIDGET DAVIES – March 2020

| 10 March 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Tony nominee Mary Bridget Davies, best known for her onstage work channeling the late rock icon Janis Joplin, will release an album of compellingly reimagined songs by the legendary songwriter and Grammy® winning producer Jerry Ragovoy. The album is dedicated  to Davies’ sister who tragically took her own life. Broadway Records will release the studio album, digitally and in stores, on Friday, March 20, 2020. She will launch a national tour promoting the album (dates and venues to be announced), starting with an appearance at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 18th in support of the album release.” We get Mary Bridget herself to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Even though it is an album of Jerry Ragovoy tunes, you might not realize it! We have arranged and modernized in such a way that these are now brand new tunes but they were written by a master over 20 years ago.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My parents. Rock and roll was VERY present in my upbringing and saved me many times. I was a teenager and thought “What would it be like? How incredible would it be to do this for a living?!” By the time I was 21, I was in my first band.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

My first “EVERYONE STOP WHAT IS THIS?!” moment was Alice In Chains Unplugged album. I can still listen to it start to finish and I feel the same as I did sitting in my car in high school just mesmerized.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Prince, Etta James, Layne Staley, Joe Cocker, and Jimi Hendrix.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Gary Clark Jr. I love that he has created an authentic modern blues sound while still being rough around the edges and modern.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

My music is just an extension of me. You are getting authentic MBD. It has been an honor to portray Janis Joplin and so people naturally make the comparison. I wouldn’t say it makes me cringe but I disagree that I am an impersonator.  It feels more like I am a conduit for her.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Most of us have actually lived together in Rochester, NY of all places so I can answer this pretty easily! Jim Wall and I would be cooking. Chris Hanna would make the beer run. Alfredo Guerrieri and Ben Nieves would be the first to start the jam!

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Clive Davis came to see us on Broadway in A Night with Janis Joplin. He told me “I didn’t think you could pull it off, but you did.” SPEECHLESS.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Being able to turn your emotions into art is the best part. Working out your feelings onstage and putting them into your performances.  Helping people escape their own turmoil for a few hours. If I couldn’t be a musician anymore? Talk show host. That way I could still be around all of the creatives and feel their electricity first hand.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Has it been worth it? The ups and downs of being a musician? The answer is yes. (Conversely) How do you not lose your voice singing Janis Joplin? Hahaha!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

A few actually but no I couldn’t go back and change them anyway so you have to keep looking to the future.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Mad Dogs and Englishmen Joe Cocker and Leon Russell. It is church. It is home. It is my childhood. Some of my happiest and saddest moments spent listening to that album. To be in the room where it happened? A dream.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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