Thursday, August 28, 2014

Save the Dates: 9/13 and 10/24

September 13th : Twin Oaks Tavern in Penngrove : 5 - 8 pm on the back patio
(Should be warm, but wear layers just in case...)

October 24th : Theatre DeVille, Vacaville - opening for Elvin Bishop!  8:00 pm

Harmonic Humanity : Music to Empower Homeless to Lift Themselves To a Higher Place

If you feel uneasy about homeless on our streets but don't want to just hand someone a dollar, how would you feel if giving a dollar could empower a homeless person to become an entrepreneur ?

Well, now you can do that. This Indiegogo campaign ends August 29th - so please act now :

Btw : I'm not on the CD, but I think this is a fabulous idea. So, if you can spare a dollar, please do.

#tbt : Can't Go Back :

Hi All : 
We've got a few new subscribers to our e-newsletter, as we are entering the final stages of finishing the "Livin' Like Kings" album, which is now available for digital pre-order on bandcamp. 

"Can't Go Back" : first "solo" release, and was recorded over the course of several years in several studios. I put the word "solo" in quotes because it took a lot of people to help bring it to life. It is a true labor of love, recorded in the "old school" tradition - live in the studio, with minimal overdubs.

Each link will lead you to bandcamp, and deliver it to you with all its imperfections - because a performance is a performance - none is ever the same.

"Can't Go Back," the title cut, is, like most of my tunes, autobiographical.
I was inspired to write it after getting a speeding ticket in Fairfax.
Yes, I was driving too fast because I was arguing with my then (now ex) husband. Lesson learned there - don't argue when you drive, and when you are driving through Fairfax, watch your speedometer. Basically, I was in the midst of a painful breakup of a relationship that I tried really hard to keep together - until I woke up and asked myself  "why?"
The advice in the chorus is a statement that we are all moving forward, and even if you do go back to a place you've been before, it is a different time, or a different state of mind, so you really aren't going "back."
Unless you've been around in this world, you won't become a straight shooter. Anyway, I was really thrilled to have the Garaj Mahal rhythm section on this tune - the super funky groove they laid down gives the song a light playfulness to a subject that was pretty heavy for me.
Eric Levy's solo is top notch.
The cut was recorded in Sausalito, at the former location of The Plant Studios.
It almost broke my heart to have to leave that place, until I realized that when I left, I took the reason I was there with me (Arne.)

I chose the second cut, "Birthday Suit," because it is FUN.
Some friends hosted a birthday party for me and our friend Freddy Clarke was there. Freddy is a really funny guy and he writes these songs that usually have sexy, humorous themes.
Here's how I became aware of this tune - as the party was winding down, he picked up his acoustic guitar and said "I have a song for you - and he started singing "I wanna see you in your birthday suit..." Well, we all started cracking up and I told Arne "Let's record that song for the album."
On this tune, I'm backed by Livin' Like Kings, which is a band Arne and I put together after we were forced out of the studio and he expressed to he that he wanted to get back to playing bass.
I love the feel of this tune - very New Orleans vibe trombone work by Mike Rinta and a soulful saxophone solo by Doug Rowan.

 "Georgie" - was written while George Bush was president. We recorded it in 2005, but it didn't get released until 2010. Kind of frustrating, because, in this music business, timing is important, but on the bright side, the experience helped me grow as a songwriter.
When I sing it live, I sometimes replace "Georgie" with "Mister" because things have gotten worse and the people who are running our government still appear to be spending money on wars and killing people for oil.
The Garaj Mahal guys backed me up on this one too.

"Sometime" was written at a time when I felt as if I had been ripped from my life as I had known it and was suddenly placed in someone else's life - and the only person who seemed to want me in that life was my man.
During the time I wrote it, I felt very much out of place and alone.
It's basically a song that represents a mood and doesn't tell a story - so I hope that if you are feeling depressed, you can put that song on, cry a little bit and then be able to get on with your day.

"Can't Get Next to You" was recorded while Sonia Dada was in Sausalito recording their album "Test Pattern" - these are the "scratch" vocals.

Arne wanted to keep them because we cut it in one take and he liked the interplay between me and Michael and Sam and Paris. It's almost as if I'm listening to someone else - because I'm a different person now.
I'm so in awe of that band and those singers and was still in "I'm not worthy" mode when we cut these tunes. But, you "can't go back," right?
I'm very grateful to have had that experience and hope to sing with them again someday. Or at least hang out - because they are great people.

"Crosscut Saw" also has an element of humor - I have fun singing that song because I think its sassy for a woman to sing it. We cut that in one or two takes, live in the studio as well. Hambone actually toured with Albert King, and Phil Miller plays the blues in Chicago. They just nailed it.

 "You Got Me Hummin'" and "When Something is Wrong with My Baby" - are two Sam and Dave tunes that I have always loved - Dan P. from Sonia Dada came in and added the solo.

 "My Brother's Smile" is the song that took over 30 years to finish - I started it in 1979 and every time I sat down to write it, I would just break down crying  - it was really depressing.  I was fortunate to have the help of a very profound and prolific songwriter named Fred Thomas to help me finish the song. That never would have happened if I hadn't been working at the studio, when Arne's cousin Marty Marmor introduced us to Fred. Fred is a soulful individual, and I adore him, but it's a bit tricky hanging out with him because he keeps trying to give me a Bible. I will be forever grateful to him for helping me to finish that song.

OK - Thanks for your kind support!

Buy Can't Go Back on iTunes : CLICK HERE

Monday, August 25, 2014

Music is A Vehicle for Change

Here's the most recent post on A Vehicle for Change, the non-profit project I started when we were still in Sausalito:

Use your powers for good.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Livin' Like Kings : Album now available for digital pre-order

New album is now available in digital preorder.

Technically, you can buy it in digital preorder, which will give you the option to stream / download six tracks for now. 

I'm choosing this digital preorder option because I want to be able to add a few more tracks before the official release date, which I haven't decided upon yet. 

Feeling very grateful to finally be able to release these tunes. 

 - MMT 

p.s. Extra thanks to the super fans who bought the single tracks while I was figuring out how to set up the album in bandcamp. I will find a way to give you a special treat.

Note from Arne :

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Release : Holdin' On to the Heartache

Keeping it short and sweet.
If you are holdin' out for the entire album, please send me an email.


-  Mari

Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Release : Girl (Better Off Without Him) , August 26th Show In Sonoma

Yes, another "new tune" - better late than never! I wrote this one a long time ago, obviously. So glad to say those days are long gone.
The evolution of this tune is interesting, as I wrote the lyric and melody, then brought it to several potential collaborators until we finally hit the right groove with Herman ( Eberitzsch.)

Alan Hertz engineered this one. Bet you thought he was just a kick ass drummer, didn't you?
I tried to embed the bandcamp link, but again, it would not work on the iPad.
Hope you like it. Feel free to share.


Reminder : next Show is at the Twin Oaks Tavern with Livin' Like Kings and perhaps some surprise guests...

Directions / Info


Last week's release : Freedom Jam : a jam I did with my very talented friend Herman back in 2011.
About the recording :
This recording came about on one day when I was really at my wits end about some stupid sidewalk project. I went to Herman's "boogie shack" and he started jamming and I just started belting into the microphone. It's a live performance and I think I must have overloaded the mic, because there's some distortion on the vocal parts. Makes it real.

Since we didn't do any rehearsal or anything, it was just "off the cuff" interplay, I may have hit a funky note here and there, but we didn't use auto tune - because, well, life is not perfect and tidy, now, is it?
My personal inspiration for the song ;

This tune was inspired by my frustration with bureaucracy in 2011 - when my neighbors and I were still in the midst of the "Battle for Evergreen" - some of us were trying to convince Marin County to turn away close to one million dollars ( $900,000 ) in Safe Routes to Schools funding. The funding was earmarked to construct a four block long concrete slab for a private commuter school in a semi rural historic neighborhood. It's a really long story - and before you join the ranks of the people who think I am crazy or don't love kids because I fought this construction project, read this :

Of course, they built the concrete thing anyway and since then, there have been THREE accidents on a street that used to have a perfect safety much for a "safer route" to school.

Looking at the slab, it's a fine example of how messed up things are in this country:  We can't buy books for our public schools, but somehow the  "powers that be" are making sure some private commuter school gets a million dollar sidewalk to try to coax their clients to walk four blocks.

Really frustrating and not much help to the kids in the long run. I love all kids, regardless of what school they attend, but nobody wins when regulations are disregarded and anyone's civil rights are violated.

When we accept tyranny at any level, we pave the way for tyranny everywhere.

Things won't change for the better until we ALL work together for positive change at the grass roots level.

Start where you live and work.

btw :

Arne did not feel this song was "commercial" enough or showcased my vocal abilities enough, so we did not release it in 2011.

That really upset me even more than the sidewalk bureaucracy, because what is the point of making music, if nobody gets to hear it?

I love my husband very much and have great respect for his extensive experience in the music industry, but I really do have to say it is a challenge having your husband as a producer. I see how he works with other artists - he seems to be much more free with them.
Maybe because he doesn't live in the same place; I don't know. I have been trying to get out of the music business for years, because it is just so, well, superficial. I know I don't fit the profile of what it takes to be a superstar and I really do love our life together. When I was on the road with Gregg's Eggs, I hated it (cruel practical jokes, loneliness.)

Anyway, after I bugged him enough, he gave me the file, but I was reluctant to upload it at that time, because of the distortion - plus I felt that we were past the Occupy movement.

However, recent events on the news, such as what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri, show otherwise.

At this point, I really don't want to overthink things - I just want to express myself, so I'm putting whatever I have out there.
If you can relate to it, great.

If you like it, please buy it and/or share.



Occupy green streets!