Mary Barry: Original Jazz, Blues and Chanson
Most jazz singers sing "standards"; those great tunes written by genius wordsmiths including Cole Porter, Rogers and Hart, or Johnny Mercer.
It worked for Ella and works today for Diana. Blues singers tend to immerse themselves in the creations of several generations of Afro-American writers from Ma Rainey to Robert Cray.
Those who embrace chanson work the B's- Brel, Brassens, and Boris Vian. Mary Barry follows a different path, writing original songs in all three genres that are so good they sound like standards.
Sometimes you really have to look at the composer credits to confirm that the song that reduced you to a puddle of emotion was written by the same person you hear singing it.
The ability to both write and interpret is a rare talent outside the rock and folk worlds. Even more compelling is her ability to create magic on stage. Mary Barry has spent a quarter of a century refining her skills and the result has won her a dedicated coterie of fans among discerning listeners from coast to coast.
Most of the songs, however, are Mary's own take on the world. January, which won her a songwriting award, uses winter as a metaphor for lost love.
Basse Ville chronicles the old town of Quebec City the tourists don't see, where poverty lurks behind the picturesque. Never Never chronicles a tale of unrequited love while Another Time remembers a love that was once requited.
Pourquoi c'est comme ca? is an existential question from a writer who shares a birthday with Kierkegaard, Marx, and Mohammed. Looking for a Genie in the bottom of a bottle counsels against "seeking the answer in the bottom of that decanter".
Carrying out the true task of the artist, she takes your experiences and reflects them back to you in the form of cleverly crafted, articulate songs.
Whether as a solo artist and pianist, or in duo, trio, quartet, or quintet formation what remains constant is the voice and the vision; the unique art of Mary Barry.
Mary Barry lives and works in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. She is currently working on her third independent recording, Red Eye Tonight due to be released in June 2007.