It’s fashionable to gripe about the current sorry state of contemporary country music and for good reason. In it’s single-minded obsession for hits and radio charting Music Row often appears to be like an Chinese iPad factory (with better clothes.) A casual listen of country music hits from the last 40 years clearly shows that the industry often tilts the cultural scales toward stacks of commerce over the beauty of craft.
Mary Sarah has the looks and the pipes to shoot for the denim and glitter of Country Music stardom. She even toured with the lucrative Kidz Bop franchise as a singer and dancer when she was 12 years old. The lady’s got options
But performing in the Texas near her home in Richmond TX home (outside Houston) put her in a unique position to be steeped in tradition and to meet some of the legends that created that music.
Her upcoming release, “Bridges,” is a collection iconic songs done as duets with the legends that made them famous. Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Vince Gill, recorded over the last two-and-a-half years.
“I never imagined that singing these songs in the Texas Oprys would lead to one day recording them with some of the greatest country legends of our time,” Mary Sarah says. “Working on this album and with these legends has changed my life. Not only did I learn more about traditional country music, it has led me to have a clearer vision of what I want to accomplish in country music.”
That doesn’t sound like a crass money grab to grease the path to maga-stardom. It does sound like a smart move in a genre starving for substance to set herself up for longevity and, dare I say, a shot as legend.
Yes, Loretta there is hope for Music City.
“Bridges” is expected to be released in early April.
“Bridges” track listing
“Jolene” with Dolly Parton
“Crazy” with Willie Nelson
“Fightin’ Side of Me” with Merle Haggard
“Heartaches by the Number” with Ray Price
“What a Difference You’ve Made in My Life” with Ronnie Milsap
“Texas, When I Die” with Tanya Tucker
“Rose Garden” with Lynn Anderson
“Go Rest High on That Mountain” with Vince Gill
“Dream On” with the Oak Ridge Boys
All I Wanna Do Is Sing My Song” with Freddy Powers
“Where the Boys Are” with Neil Sedaka
“My Great Escape” with Big & Rich (original song)
“I’m Sorry” (solo version of Brenda Lee classic)