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Published on Jan 11, 2010
After staging a Bluegrass Revolution in the unlikely city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, this acoustic supergroup is stepping into the national spotlight with the release of their first full length album.
Mary and Mars combines the skills of mandolinist Sharon Gilchrist, of Dixie Chicks fame, with the lightning-fast picking of guitarist Ben Wright and the soulful bottom end of bass-man Josh Martin. While bluegrass music is what brought them together, their sound is informed by countless other styles: rock, funk, swing, classic country and beyond.
All three of them have strong, distinctive voices and they're happy to share lead vocal duties: Sharon, Ben and Josh each sing 3 or 4 tracks on the disc. But the real pay-off is when their voices combine in three-part harmony: a tight, gospel-infused tone that's utilized all over their debut CD.
What's more, they are all songwriters and each member contributed some great songs to this mostly-original album. (The covers are all bluegrass classics: the traditional Cold Rain and Snow, Bill Monroe's Sitting Alone in the Moonlight and the celtic-flavored Ireland's Green Shores.)
With so much energy and drive, it's easy to forget that the entire disc is all-natural and acoustic: just mandolin, guitar, bass and three vocals (with a few special guests featured on a few tracks!).
While all three are talented in their own right, Mary and Mars is definitely a case of the whole being greater than its parts. This CD will clearly illustrate why they are one of the most exciting acoustic acts in the Southwest today