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The Mary Janes:
I first became aware of The Mary Janes through reviews in the local newspapers but never heard them until recently when a friend loaned me a copy of their first CD, "Record #1." I ended up leaving it in my player for quite awhile. The overall sound is definitely country but there are strong undercurrents of lots of music I grew up with - The Velvet Underground, The Eurythmics, Mazzy Star, etc. When I saw that they had songs here at mp3.com, I downloaded and listened and decided to contact them for a Rhino feature. Frontwoman Janas Hoyt responded to the questions I sent via e-mail. Check out their songs and read on...
The Mary Janes: Full House Music
After the Mary Janes played South by Southwest in 1997, San Francisco Weekly arts editor Bill Wyman was quoted, upon seeing them, "This...was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen, period. There were only about 11 people in the audience, but the music, sort of country chamber music, filled in the rest of the space." That succinct statement perfectly describes the sound of the band's debut album "Record No. 1."
Due out July 6, the album offers the listener a vast soundscape of strings, guitars, organ, pedal steel and harmonica. Layers and textures of sound flow through songs that cannot be fully absorbed on a first, or even third, listen. Yet, even as their debut is being released, the Mary Janes have further honed their craft to the interplay of four highly talented musicians. Consisting of lead singer and guitarist Janas Hoyt, violinist Heather Craig, drummer Mark Minnick and bassist Dan Hunt, the band has stripped down their sound blending classical, country and bar-rock into a potent mix that will get just about anybody's toes a tappin'. I recently sat down with the Mary Janes to discuss their evolution as a band, their involvement in the high profile "Real: The Tom T. Hall Project," and the benefits of optimism.