With a deeply spiritual New Age/World music sound, Mary-Kathryn is one of Music City’s most unique talents. Through five full-length releases as a recording artist, her music is one that is as equally as fitting for a church worship service as it is on a nationally-syndicated radio show like the Ambient music showcase “Echoes.”
A mix of old and original songs can be found on her new Christmas record. Her beautiful voice will sound soothingly sweet while you are putting up the tree. Folks can buy this one and all of her other music from just about every digital distributor, and CD’s are available through CD Baby, Amazon, or her website, www.mary-kathryn.com.
As you will see below, Mary-Kathryn gave some quality time to the usual 11 Questions. Thanks MK!
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I’m originally from Cuero, TX and met my husband Elliott in college at Texas State University in San Marcos. We married in 1982 and made our home in San Antonio. We moved to Nashville 18 years later (October 2000) with our two children. At the time of our move, we had two Christian music record labels: Rhythm House Records and True Tunes Records. Bringing our labels to Nashville seemed like a good thing to do.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
The very first record I ever bought was a Beatles 45 vinyl single with “Hey Jude” on the A side and “Those Were the Days” by Mary Hopkin on the B side. That was a long time ago, so I really don’t remember where I bought it, but being from a really small town, I probably bought it at Keesler’s Diner in downtown Cuero. Mr. Keesler didn’t just serve food, he also sold everything from television sets and stereos, to comic books and candy. He most likely had some 45’s for sale, too.
The last record I bought was from Amazon: Ray LaMontagne’s album Ouroboros, both digital and CD.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
The first live concert I saw was Loggins and Messina at the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium. Tickets were $15. My friend and I were too young to drive, so her mother took us, and we spent the night across the street from the auditorium at the El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel. We felt pretty cool!
The last live concert I saw was Joe Bonamassa at TPAC. Being a performing artist, it can be really hard to go sit and watch someone else’s show because my mind immediately begins racing over all the things they’re doing or not doing on stage. Joe Bonamassa is such an amazing performer I can completely relax and enjoy every minute of his show. Two hours wasn’t long enough! In addition, I got to meet him after the show, and he seems like a really great guy. His onstage persona is such a “bad-A,” but meeting him in person, he comes off just the opposite.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
I have absolutely no idea and don’t begin to even feel qualified to say.
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
My house for coffee. I’m really particular about my one cup of coffee in the morning, so I make my own with Cafe Bustelo and a little flavored cream – whichever flavor I’m in the mood for. And when my husband and I go out for pizza, we really enjoy Bella Napoli Pizzeria. Their pizzas are made in a wood-fired oven, and they have really great salads and reasonably-priced wines.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
For a few years, my husband was part of a partnership that owned the Sound Kitchen Studios. There were so many huge artists who came through and recorded there, and I had the enormous blessing of getting to record my fourth record Dreams and Visions there. Being a music lover, I don’t think I could ever choose a favorite record that’s come out of Nashville. There’s just such a diversity of styles in this town; more than just Country music. You can’t make me choose!
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
Late night is relative. For me, the best place is Fido in Hillsboro Village for their huevos rancheros (they’re open ‘til 11pm). Being from San Antonio (the home of Tex-Mex cuisine) I love great huevos rancheros, and although Fido doesn’t make them like home, they’re really good!
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
Did I mention I included a little-known Robin Trower song called “Bluebird” on my new album Mary-Kathryn Christmas? (www.mary-kathryn.com/2018/12/bluebird-a-little-known-song)
If the Bluebird called, the first songwriter I would have join me is Paul Buono with whom I co-wrote and produced my fourth and fifth records. Paul has been so much fun to work with over the years, and his writing style is very fluid, more about imagery and flow than trying to be clever. The second writer would be Chris McClarney (www.chrismcclarneymusic.com) for a similar reason. Chris makes his writing seem easy and comes from what I feel is a very honest place in his songs. The third writer isn’t local, but I’d be happy to import him from Canada and say that he is a local: (Steve Bell at www.stevebell.com). Steve recorded a duet with me on my song “Unto the Least of These” which is on my third record One Spirit. He’s a wonderful singer/songwriter who would be the perfect balance for the in-the-round show of my choice at the Bluebird.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
One of my favorite places has been Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Brentwood. The acoustics are amazing, and they have concerts regularly featuring a great variety of musical styles. Another would be Massey Performing Arts Center at Belmont University. It’s a wonderful mid-sized performance hall with fantastic sound and lighting.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
Juno Award-Winning Canadian singer-songwriter and author, Steve Bell
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
Always more music. When I finish recording one record, I immediately begin thinking about the next. The beauty is found in the creative journey and the evolution of ideas. I’m addicted!