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ABOUT MARY BRIDGET DAVIES
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Mary’s first love, dance, took her all over the country in both competitive settings as well as professional tours.
Always fond of singing, Mary went to Robert Lockwood Jr.’s jam night at the original Fat Fish Blue in Cleveland. Encouraged to watch first and then return to jam the following week, she agreed. After sitting in on just one song she was hired into her first band on the spot.
It didn’t take long before the band was touring nationally and representing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the International Blues Challenge two years in a row! The band was nominated numerous times by the Cleveland Scene and Free Times for Best Blues Band and Mary won the Best Vocalist Award in 2004!
In 2005 an unexpected opportunity presented itself. An open call audition for the smash Off-Broadway musical, Love, Janis, needed a new lead actress/vocalist to portray Janis Joplin. She auditioned and out of roughly 150 actors, she came out with the lead! Love, Janis has toured the country over with Mary at the “Janis” helm since.
Big Brother & the Holding Co., Janis Joplin’s original band, asked Mary to sing for them in 2006 as well. She has enjoyed European tours and shows all over the country with the Big Brother since.
Another amazing opportunity presented itself during the summer of 2007 when Mary was asked to join the cast of the Tony Award nominated Broadway musical–It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues–an amazing piece about the history and evolution of blues music.
Now–back with the Mary Bridget Davies Group for only one year–the band has enjoyed winning second place in the 2011 International Blues Challenge and has been nominated Best Blues Band by the Kansas City Pitch. MbdG debut album will be out Fall 2011!
The Mary Bridget Davies Group "Your Kind of Love" and "The Real Thing".
After extensive touring with various bands, she moved to New York City last year and landed the lead in “A Night With Janis Joplin,” which mixed Janis’ music with behind-the-scenes stories from the lead character, as well as performances by other artists who that influenced Joplin. Davies told the New York Times, “I have sung those songs hundreds of times, and I still love them. I’m like a kid from Cleveland, and she was this queen of rock ’n’ roll who came from Texas, who has this crazy accent that I get to do. Being able, as an actor, to pull it off and get the payoff on the jokes, is great.” Of the show, Entertainment Weekly cited her “phenomenal voice,” while the Los Angeles Timespraised “the astonishing Mary Bridget Davies…it’s a triumph for all concerned.” The New York Times heralded her “ebullient personality and raspy tone” and says she “captured the Joplin sound perfectly.”
Ms. Davies kicked off 2014 with impressive performances at SXSW and a four-night residency in Pasadena, CA where she was joined by the likes of The Doors’ Robby Krieger, Slash, The MC5’s Wayne Kramer, Dave & Phil Alvin of The Blasters, Bob Mothersbaugh of DEVO, Jesse Malin, and members of Tom Morello’s Nightwatchmen and Gnarls Barkley.
The multi-talented singer, guitarist, photographer and dog-lover is excited about the limitless possibilities that await. “I’ve never had a specific ‘game plan’ or laid out a career path for myself,” she says with an exuberant laugh. “But after being on Broadway and getting some attention, I’m really stoked about what’s next. Bring it on!”
The Mary Bridget Davies Group
Mary Bridget Davies – Vocals
Dave Hays – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Gary Roberts – Bass, Vocals
Chris Hazelton – Organ, Keys, Vocals
Joe Voye – Percussion, Vocals
- Recipient of the BEST VOCALIST AWARD by the Cleveland Free Times
- 2005 International Blues Challenge FINALIST
- Won award for BEST MOMENT IN THEATRE 2007 by the Kansas City Pitch for role as Janis Joplin in the Off-Broadway smash musical, Love, Janis which was the inaugural production at KC’s new Copaken Stage located in the H&R Block Building.
- Starred in the KC Rep Theatre’s New Year’s Repartee 2007 from December 28-31st at the UMKC Campus Cherry Street Theatre. A musical review of songs from Love, Janis, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, Hank Williams: Lost Highway and more!
- Mary Bridget starred in the National Tour of Love, Janis in 2008
- 2011 International Blues Challenge Second Place WINNER
- 2012 Two Blues Blast Award Nominations for “Best New Artist Debut CD” and “Sean Costello Rising Star”
- 2013 Blues Music Award® Nomination for Best New Artist Debut
- Lead role in Broadway’s “A Night With Janis Joplin,” for which she received a 2014 Tony Award® nomination for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical”
An aside: We've been in lockdown in Melbourne for 100 days. Home confinement, travel restrictions, closing stores and restaurants have resulted in a consistently down trend of cases so that the chart of Victoria's daily cases is almost zero. Thank goodness Australia has adopted an approach of using lockdowns alongside proactive testing and tracing to contain the virus.
My folks live in the US and the Covid cases there are straight up. Fortunately they reside in NYC which did see the worst last spring, but are now, at least where they live in Manhattan, are seeing a slight rise to about 1% in cases unlike the rest of the country. I face time with my parents every week. They remain mostly at home. My Mum recently shared a link with me so I could listen to the American singer and actress, Mary Bridget Davies who is an interpreter of Janis Joplin's music. My Mum actually saw Janice Joplin perform live when she was attending college in the 1960's. My Mum loves the blues. Said she couldn't have gotten through the horror of the deaths in NYC in the Spring without listening to Mary Bridget Davies. I reserve judgement until I listen on Youtube. Aside from working at home, watching a lot of movies with my flat mates, I have been spending, perhaps too much time playing pokie games on three different online casinos: Fair Go Casino, Red Stag Casino, and Uptown Pokies Casino. Each casino is powered by a different software provider, so depending upon my mood I can choose different pokie games. I particularly like I-slots because they are interactive, allowing punters like me to develop my own storyline by spinning different combinations of reels, or by taking part in an adventure to advance the game. There is an animated video clip at the start of each i-Slot game introducing the pokies’ theme and characters. I-slots remind me of inter active video games of which I am also a fan.
When I tell my flat mates about my Mum's recommendation about Mary Bridget Davies, I guess I wasn't too surprised that Jake who is a guitarist and really into the music knew who she was. Yobbo, he said I can't believe you don't know Mary Bridget Davies. She is the one, primo interpreter of Janice Joplin. Go listen. And I did. And they are both right!!
IBC SECOND PLACE WINNERS! –
MARCH 6, 2010
CRAZY! So many things, so many things to SAY! First, the horrible impending storm that hit the Midwest got us out on the road to Memphis a day early and WOW. Good thing! I-70 was CLOSED from KCMO to St. Louis 6 hours after we left.
We got to Memphis around 4:30am and got right into our rooms that we weren’t supposed to be able to check into until 3pm the following afternoon. JOY! We slept… a bit, but the excitement and opportunities that Beale Street had to offer left us restless! Got situated and we were pleasantly surprised that even though the competition didn’t start until the following day, most of the other musicians had the same idea to get to Memphis early!
So we met up with my dear friend and KILLER musician, Patrick McLaughlin at Alfred’s. Funny piece of trivia: First time I went to the IBC I watched Patrick and his band take it all the way to the finals in 2004 and their first venue? ALFRED’S! So it was a very awesome cosmic way to start the week! When we got there, the house acoustic duo let Patrick and his bass playin’ sweetie fiance get up and do a few tunes. Gotta love that. It reinforced the ideal that great musicians are always willing to engage and support their kind.
After they finished their set we heard of the jam happening at Rum Boogie Cafe… so we HAD to go! Once we got there, we signed up and saw so many familiar faces! Kenny Hines and Scott Moyer and Bruce from KCMO. It took awhile until it was my turn to jam but I was alright with it! Sitting there, absorbing the amazing vibe. Since the competition didn’t start until the next day, everyone was still in “share/love” mode. I LOVE share/love mode, lol. SO I got to jump up and jam for a few tunes. FUN! A few of my Cleveland friends like Dee Dee heard me singing on the loudspeaker outside and came in! We got back to the rooms for some shuteye since we had to register starting at noon. Well…
You’d think showing up at 11:45am that we would be in a short line and on our way? Nuh uh! Blues musicians as far as the eye could see! We joked that it was the biggest mass of musicians in a club before noon. So the line moved fast. We registered and found out our venue and realized we were last at The Blues City Cafe that night… So we went to Gus’s for chicken. I now know why it is world famous, STELLAR! There was a band orientation and I was beginning to feel the importance of our presence there and… started freakin’ out! SO the guys went down before me, lol. I was in the hotel room, sad because the storm kept my parents from getting down to Memphis but knowing I needed to bring it extra hard in their absence.
I get to the club and the bands are ROCKIN’! Inducing more omgomgomg feelings for me but we hit the stage, did our all original set and the people dug us!!!!! After we were done, one of the competing bands was comissioned to jump up and play again after the competition. Matt asked me to sit in on “I’d Rather Go Blind”… so I said why not? I don’t perform the tune, but love it so much so I jumped up and jammed. Back to the room. We had to play second on Thursday. 5:30pm
I forgot to mention that the talent buyer for Blues City Cafe, Ashley(who is a DOLL)asked if after the competition Thursday night we would gig and keep the party going! What an honor. She is so cute, she showed me a text she sent to her boss after we finished our set and it said “We need to get her and her band in here immediately, She is going to be a legend!” Hand to God. Ask her @AshleyEwing
We were prepared to play for a relatively empty room due to the time slot but it was crazy. People started showing up! Stayed for our set, rocked out and left! I was like whaaaaaaaat? The word was on Beale that we were a band to watch. WOW. So I hung out and watched all of the bands at our venue and when it was all said and done… the amazing rockin’ done by every band, we started to play. Before we hit, I asked Ashley if we could turn it into a jam. She was like, ummm yes please! Most of the bands at Blues City Cafe stuck around after competing so it was ON! Bryan Michael Fischer is an incredible vocalist! All night most of my friends were like “He’s your competition” and I was like “Tell me something I don’t know!” AMAZING!
Other musicians from different venues showed up to jam and we didn’t stop until almost 3:00am! At around 2:30am, one of the Blues Foundation figureheads came in to give us the news about which bands were advancing. I was scurrrrrrr’d. Everyone was so great! I mean, I felt confident but still… you never know!
WE MADE IT!!!! So we were to be at the semifinals the next night. At The Superior! That was Trampled Under Foot’s Semifinal venue before they went to the finals and WON in 2008 so it felt like a GREAT omen!
We get there and the musicianship stepped up tenfold. Dave Shelley and BluesTone from South Florida played right before us and I was like, uh oh! AMAZING! They had a giant crew and an amazing set! I have to tell you that being from Cleveland and seeing the sea of Cleveland faces with the Kansas City Blues Society Crew made me quite emotional! I was like, WOW! This isn’t about us, it’s about all of them. Everyone that ever believed in this young but mighty band… WOW. Besides THAT… The Trampled Underfoot Brothers, Nick and Kris showed up and so did Leveetown! My ex-husband was there, too! He played organ for my friend Patrick McLaughlin and even though they didn’t advance, they were there to cheer us on. That was more important to me than they will ever know. Seriously! So we did our set and we were received SO WELL!!!! I turned to the band and was like, we did our best so now… let’s get a beer!
A jam ensued at The Superior! Our KCBS President Joe Sherrick on bass, Brandon and Jan and Jimmy from LeveeTown, Tiffany Marie from Springfield, MO and a bunch of other musicians from the Challenge were jamming! Then Adam Constantine, my ex on keys, his friend Pete Simon on guitar, Bruce got up on harp too! FINALLY. We got the word. MARY BRIDGET DAVIES GROUP is going to the FINALS!!!!! I cried. It was joy. It was pride. It was relief and it was sadness that my parents couldn’t be there. We celebrated for maybe another half hour and then I was like “I’ve gotta get some sleep!” Since the finals started at 2:00pm
SO I slept like crap, lol! Nerves! I had a dress for the finals, but didn’t think it was good enough so I woke up way early and went to a department store and found exactly what I needed. We got to The Orpheum and started watching the bands. EVERYONE was top notch. We were last! Lionel Young Band played right before us and WOW. I can see how he won the solo/duo category a few years before. He is amazing and brought with him a stellar band! We got up, did our thing and I felt very proud that we had even made it to the finals… So when they announced that second place goes to the KANSAS CITY BLUES SOCIETY?! I was so proud of us! I was totally choked up, lol. But I thanked the ones that made this happen. Our band, Kansas City Blues Society, my parents and CLEVELAND OHIO!
BDG RECORDING THEIR FIRST ALBUM!
MAY 9, 2011
Yes folks, it’s TRUE! Mary and the guys are going into the studio next week to begin recording for their debut album! It will of course be the trusty, rockin’ blues trio with Mary at the vocal helm, but we have some guest artists, too! Keep you posted!
BLUES FROM THE TOP FESTIVAL
JUNE 30, 2011
What a weekend! Started off with a BANG! MB sat in with Nick Moss and the Flip Tops, wow! Great way to kick off the weekend! He and his wife, Kate, have an amazing 7 year old daughter Sadie Mae who got up and sang?! AMAZING! She even wrote the tune she sang. When I was seven I was catching lightening bugs in a jar So cool!
Same night our band did a club date at Ullr’s. Our family has a couple new members… Chris Hazelton on keys/Hammond/mind-control and Pete Carroll on trumpet! ( We are borrowing him from Al Green but hopefully he falls in love with us and stays!)
Our set Saturday afternoon on the mainstage felt so comfortable. Like we have been playing together, on a daily basis, for years! After us was Girls with Guitars! KC native Samantha Fish with Britain’s Dani Wilde and daughter of legendary bluesman, Cassie Taylor. WOW! John Nemeth’s Soul Review followed in stellar fashion. THEN, it was Nick Moss and the Flip Tops. Nick’s brother Joe came up and played and sent a lot of love to their parents who were at the festival… so cool!
Saturday night jam was EPIC! Samantha Fish on guitar with me on vox, Kate Moss on bass, Chris Hazelton on keys and Patrick Seals on drums. JUST… incredible. Nick and Co. were bringing it all night before we were lucky enough to jam together but yeah, wow is all I can say!
Sunday… I got to witness Jimmy Hall. PERIOD! Albert Cummings was spectacular as were the rest of the Sunday line up but Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie) is STRAIGHT from my youth and helped me connect the feeling of soul from my heart and ears to my mouth. Incredible. Called my Mother during “Keep on Smiling” and I was crying tears of joy. That I could be watching that band live… wow. By the time the festival was over Sunday it was only 7:30pm… I was in bed by 9:00pm. So drained and reeling from the great experience
WANNA FEEL SOMETHIN’ – PRESS RELEASE
FEBRUARY 24, 2012
“Seldom is there an artist that makes me stop in my tracks. Ms. Davies’ voice explodes with a truth and passion seldom ever heard. Like a hurricane she obliterates anything coming before her and sets a new standard. Not only is she on pitch, but her delivery is perfect. She defines each song with such a command that it is almost hard to imagine anyone else singing them but her.” Mark Brian Sonna, Pegasus News
The majority of the songs on Mary Bridget Davies’ debut blues release Wanna Feel Somethin’, are originals written by herself combined with arrangement and lyrical skills of her whole band. The band members are clearly collaborators and work very well together. Davies provides both music lovers and the industry with well written, meaningful and soulfully executed songs. All of Davies originals on this album are familiar, yet new, beginning with ‘Your Kinda Love’ (Gary Roberts bass/vocals). The familiar sounds of Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon are punched out of the gate by the new and dynamic voice of Davies, who leaves one searching for who she sounds like. Ultimately, one comes to the conclusion that she has many influences, but has a signature voice all her own.
The next track, a traditional sounding blues dance number ‘Won’t pay You Mind’, was written by the regular band members (Dave Hayes guitar/vocals, Gary Roberts bass/vocals, Joe Voye drums/vocals and Mary Davies vocals). These four musicians are the nucleus writing and performing crew of the Mary Bridget Davies Group providing this release with four out of ten songs credited. Gary Roberts has a total of six writing credits on this album and Davies a total of five.
In the next original track titled ‘Same Ol’ Blues,’ Davies invokes the spirit of Joplin while sustaining her identity and keeping the mood and groove silky and smooth. We get to explore the rhythm and soul side of Davies band with ‘Real Thing,‘ which is a fine transition from the true 70’s sound and the Neo-Soul movement that is so in vogue this decade. The haunting dirty low-end slide accompanied by Davies raising up the spirit in ‘Getting’ Stronger‘ and ‘Trick The Devil’ are fine fusions of Delta Blues and tasty Gospel-witnessing vocal technique. The title track, ‘Wanna Feel Somethin’,’ shows us the band’s funky side and will at least leave a creak in your neck if not break it from bouncing back and forth.
The cover songs that were selected on the album are clever, well thought-out and in some cases down-right dangerous choices. By the grace above, they all come off well. The jazzy interpretation and rearrangement of ‘Wonderwall’ (N. Gallager) is ambitious and well executed. ‘Take it to The Limit‘ (D. Henley, R. Meisner, G. Frey) and ‘Thunder and Lightnin’’ (C. Coltrane) are two other great covers that this highly proficient group of musicians conquered where many others have failed.
Davies band is a noteworthy example of the positive evolution of the traditional blues genre in a 21st Century world. The majority of their songs are radio friendly. Most of them have average play times, under four minutes, and there are interesting selections of classic covers that have been rearranged and recorded in a pleasing manner that will entertain all who simply want to hear good music.
Charley Burch, Producer & Writer
“We’re into the game,” says Davies. “Blues fans are dedicated. And to be accepted by that caliber of fans and musicians — to me, that’s making it.”
BOSTON BLUES CD REVIEW
MAY 30, 2012
Mary Bridget Davies
Wanna Feel Somethin’
By Lady K
Mary Bridget Davies has some heavy-duty cred. In 2005, she auditioned for and won the part of Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway musical “Love, Janis,” then continued in the production off-off-Broadway, touring the country; Janis’ band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, have asked Davies to join them on European tours and shows; and she was a member of the cast in the Tony-nominated “It Ain’t Nothing but the Blues.” Credentials galore, and judging from this CD, all very well-deserved!!
In addition to her very impressive vocal prowess, Davies was also on the ball when she found herself a terrific band: according to the promo-sheet, Davies and the band collaborated on writing all of the original tunes on Wanna Feel Somethin’. Davies’ band is Dave Hayes (guitar); Gary Roberts (bass); Chris Hazelton (organ, keyboards); Joe Vogue (drums); Pete Carroll (trumpet); Nick Rowland (sax); Aaron Thomas (tambourine) – and they provided back-up vocals – lots of talent here.
“Your Kinda Love” is a slow, sexy blues number explaining to her love why she’s had enough (his other girlfriends calling on HER phone???) Backed up with some amazing guitar sounds wending their way among the lyrics, she tells him that “everybody needs lovin’, but I don’t need your kinda love.” The up-beat, jive-y “Won’t Pay You Mind” includes some fun stuff with both sax and trumpet and a scrumptious instrumental bit with more of that rockin’ guitar. In front of all the great sounds, Davies manages to get the point across that (even though he sets her heart on fire) she’s “got something you can’t take away from me, that’s my soul . . . I’ve been thinkin’, I ain’t gonna pay you no mind.”
The slow, sexy “Same Ol’ Blues” laments that breaking up and then making up gives her the blues – again and again. He gives her the “Same Ol’ Blues” when he comes back; she sings “You’re wasting all the good times that I could have spent . . . I should have stayed away from you . . . those ‘Same Ol’ Blues’ keep coming back again.” In “The Real Thing” – a rocking, soulful, bluesy Davies belts out that “I’m the real thing – you’re tryin’ to play your games and get a little piece of me . . . there won’t be no broken heart this time. ‘I think it’s about time I up and left ya . . .”
“Getting Stronger” is Lady K’s favorite track because she fell a little in love with Dave Hayes and his guitar. It’s a goodbye tune, slow, with a sinuous, sexy feel (primal guitar?) and throbbing drums. She’s telling her bad man that he should just stay away; she “knows you’re gonna miss me; and that’s too damned bad . . . I’m getting stronger the longer you stay away from me . . . don’t you worry ‘bout me.”
Then, there is the very funky “Wanna Feel Something” – it’s got insane guitar, a rockin’ keyboard, and in it Davies, with her amazing voice, uses nifty analogies to describe the level to which her love life has deteriorated. It’s as disappointing as showing up at a club to hear the band, and finding no one on stage but a DJ, playing music with no soul – when you need to hear the blues, you “Wanna Feel Something.” She finds herself making deals with her lover . . . she’ll “handle his business if he’ll take care of hers,” because she wants to feel something. “Trick the Devil” is another killer; a rocking blues number, with another killer instrumental part mid-song, and the distinctive Delta sound. The tune provides a warning to all, to walk the straight and narrow through life (the devil is smarter than the average man). If you “mess with voodoo, it’s gonna mess with you . . . you can try to trick the devil . . . you’ll get what you deserve.”
Wanna Feel Something contains three covers: Track 7 compels Lady K to extend apologies to the Eagles, but Mary Bridget Davies’ cover of “Take it to the Limit” (Meisner, Henley, Frey) is possibly the best, blues-iest version she’s ever heard. That being said, at least Lady K now loves the tune (while she only ‘liked’ the original). The cover of Noel (Oasis) Gallagher’s “Wonderwall” is a jazzy-blues-rockin number. And, Chi Coltrane’s “Thunder and Lightning” is a killer!!! It’s rocking to nearly the point of raucous (but under control) by Davies and her band. All three covers are different and impressive!
BLUES REVUE CD REVIEW
Mary Bridget Davies
Wanna Feel Somethin’
BluesWax Rating: 8
Cool Originals and Risky Covers
The majority of the songs on Mary Bridget Davies‘ latest release, Wanna Feel Somethin’, are originals written by Davies combined with arrangement and lyrical skills of her whole band. It was engineered by Brendan McReynolds at West End Studios in Kansas City, Kansas. Davies provides both her audience and the industry with well written, meaningful, and soulfully executed songs. All of Davies originals on this album are familiar, yet new, beginning with “Your Kinda Love” (Gary Roberts’ bass/vocals). The familiar sounds of Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon are punched out of the gate by Davies’ new and dynamic voice, which leaves one searching for who she sounds like. Ultimately, one comes to the conclusion that she has many influences, but has a signature voice of her own. We next swing into action with a traditional-sounding blues dance number “Won’t Pay You Mind,” which was written by the regular band members (Dave Hayes, guitar/vocals; Roberts on and vocals; Joe Voye, drums/vocals; and, Mary Davies, vocals). These four musicians are the nucleus writing and performing crew of The Mary Bridget Davies Band providing this release with four out of ten songs credited. Gary Roberts has a total of six writing credits on this LP and Davies has a total of five.
In the next original track, titled “Same Ol’ Blues,” Davies invokes the spirit of Janis Joplin while sustaining her own identity and keeping the mood and groove silky and smooth. We get to explore the Rhythm and Soul side of Davies’ band with “Real Thing,” which is a fine transition from the true ’70’s sound and the Neo-Soul movement that is so in vogue this decade. The haunting, dirty low-end slide accompanied by Davies raising up the spirit in “Getting’ Stronger” and “Trick The Devil” are fine fusions of Delta Blues and tasty Gospel witnessing vocal technique. The title track, “Wanna Feel Somethin’,” shows us the band’s funky side and will at least leave a creak in your neck if not break it from bouncing back and forth.
The cover songs that were selected on the album were clever, well thought out, and in some cases downright dangerous choices. The jazzy interpretation and rearrangement of “Wonderwall” (N. Gallager) was quite ambitious and well executed. “Take it to The Limit” (D. Henley, R. Meisner, and G. Frey) and “Thunder and Lightnin’” (C. Coltrane) are two other great covers that this highly proficient group of musicians conquered where many others have failed.
Davies’ band is a noteworthy example of the positive evolution of the traditional blues genre in a 21st century world. The majority of their songs are very radio friendly. Most of them have average play times under four minutes and there are interesting selections of classic covers that have been rearranged and recorded in a pleasing manner that will entertain all who simply want to hear good music. Davies and her band gave excellent performances at this year’s International Blues Challenge and are an act you should definitely catch live when you can. I give this album an 8 out of 10 rating.
Charley Burch is a Memphis-based writer and producer
CROSSROADS BLUES SOCIETY CD REVIEW
JUNE 19, 2012
WANNA FEEL SOMETHIN’ REVIEWED BY RICK DAVIS
Wanna Feel Somethin’
Mary Bridget Davies
Mary Bridget Davies started out in competition and on professional tours as a dancer. Since she was from Cleveland, Ohio and also very talented as a singer she went to Robert Lockwood Jr.’s jam night at the original Fat Fish Blue in Cleveland. She attended as an observer and then returned to perform the following week. After hearing her on the opening tune, she got her first band job on the spot! The band starting touring nation wide and represented the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the International Blues Challenge two years in a row. The band was nominated several times by the Cleveland Scene and Free Times for Best Blues Band, with Mary winning the Best Vocalist Award in 2004.
In 2005 a new lead actress/vocalist was needed to portray Janis Joplin in the smash Off-Broadway musical, Love, Janis. Mary got the lead out of 150 people auditioning for the honor of portraying Janis, with the musical later touring the country. For her performance, she was awarded Best Moment In Theatre in 2007 by the Kansas City Pitch. Big Brother & the Holding Co., Janis Joplin’s original band, was so impressed they asked Mary to sing with them in 2006 as they toured the United States and Europe. Once again in 2007 she had the opportunity and was asked to join the cast of the Tony Award nominated Broadway musical–It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues–a musical about the history of the blues.
Mary is now focusing all her efforts on delivering her powerful, soulful, blues vocals with The Mary Bridget Davies Group. In 2011, the group was the International Blues Challenge second place winner. They are enjoying the success of their new CD, Wanna Feel Something, with Mary handling the lead vocals, Dave Hayes on guitar and vocals, Gary Roberts on bass and vocals, Chris Hazelton on organ, keys and vocals, Joe Voye on drums and vocals, Pete Carroll on trumpet and vocals, Nick Rowland on saxophone and vocals, and Aaron Thomas on tambourine. The first tune, “Your Kinda Love” by G. Roberts, opens with shades of Muddy Waters as Mary delivers the blues like no other female vocalist that you will hear! “Won’t Pay You Mind,” another original song, offers a superb rocker by this extraordinary group of musicians. Dave Hayes will impress you with his guitar solos on the original, slow number “Same Ol Blues.” Mary will set you straight with her bold and beautiful vocals on the fast pace, funky, K. Massey tune “Real Thing.” It delivers some tasty rhythm and lead guitar, along with support from a very sharp horn section. Another original song, “Getting Stronger” opens and continues with a raw slide guitar, along with that “Janis” quality that can be heard in Mary’s vocals. Chris Hazelton is showcased on organ with the original song “Wanna Feel Something” and the Eagles mega hit “Take It To The Limit.” Mary delivers her own gospel performance with her vocals that you won’t hear on the original Eagles version. You will receive some good advice from Mary on the original song “Trick The Devil” blended with smooth slide guitar solos. The band shifts gears with the muted trumpet opening on the Noel Gallagher jazz tune “Wonderwall.” Mary Bridget Davies shows you how versatile her vocals can be on the concluding Chi Coltrane tune “Thunder and Lightnin’.”
You have to experience vocals and a band performance like this for yourself. This CD smokes from beginning to end. This has to be one of the premier bands to capture live!
Review by Rick
Posted by Byron Crossroads Blues
BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE CD REVIEW
JUNE 20, 2012
Mary Bridget Davies – Wanna Feel Somethin’
10 songs; 42:14 minutes
Styles: Traditional Blues, Blues Rock, Soul and Funk influenced Blues, Standout Female Vocals
Mary Bridget Davies- Wanna feel something`
People listen to blues music for a variety of equally powerful reasons. Some reconnect with their childhood and teenage roots through this genre, while others, as artist E.G. Kight states, “let the blues move [them] to a better attitude!” Still more, including this reviewer, peruse the blues because they “Wanna Feel Somethin’” — in this case, overwhelmed with joy at the quality of this self-produced album! Ohio’s award winning Mary Bridget Davies and her band, crowned second-place winners at the 2011 International Blues Challenge, deliver a masterful presentation of ten songs–six originals and four covers. Three stand out in both instrumentation and Mary’s sizzling vocal prowess backed by singing from all band members:
Track 2: “Won’t Pay You Mind”–This original track should hit radios as soon as possible, because it’ll instantly catch fans’ attention! It’s a down-and-dirty swinging, upbeat selection featuring Chris Hazelton on organ, Joe Voye on drums and guest stars Pete Carroll on trumpet, and Nick Rowland on saxophone. One will be hard-pressed NOT to sing along as they chant “I’ve been thinking” toward the end. As intended, “Won’t Pay You Mind” is a blues number that chases sadness away as fast as one can dance!
Track 4: “Real Thing”–The band’s cover of Kim Massey’s rhythm-and-soul hit is nothing short of amazing. What strikes one from the start are Gary Roberts’ ominous bass riff and understated intro vocals by Davies: “If you think you can just fool around with me and then go, you know you’ve got another think coming…And I brought my band to help straighten you out.” The funky guitar and horn sounds of the 70’s are back in vogue in the two-thousand-teens, and “Real Thing” proves it with a vengeance!
Track 8: “Trick the Devil”– Dave Hayes’ slide guitar opening and solo on this New Orleans-inspired swamp-stomp is absolutely wicked. That’s a marvelous thing, because it propels original number “Trick the Devil” to the top of this album’s play list. Mary describes a mysterious man with a “walkin’ cane made of alabaster bone” and Miss Betty, who’ll “tell you your money’s cursed — give it to her to get clean….” It’s a warning against trifling with the dark arts, because “…[if] you mess with hoodoo, it gonna mess with you….”
Mary Bridget Davies’ website states that she was “always fond of singing,” so she “went to Robert Lockwood Jr.’s jam night at the original Fat Fish Blue in Cleveland.” Returning after her first week, she found that “after sitting in on just one song, she was hired into her first band on the spot.” Also, out of around 150 hopefuls, she was chosen to portray Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway musical “Love, Janis.”
These are tremendous feats for a tremendous vocalist whose songs, covers or not, make one “Wanna – [and definitely will] – Feel Somethin’.” My preference, give us one more original instead of a cover or the Eagles’ “Take It to the Limit,” but either way, it’s such a great album!
Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 32 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.
MBD RECEIVES TWO 2012 BLUES BLAST AWARD NOMINATIONS!
JUNE 29, 2012
Wanna Feel Somethin’ has been nominated for the BEST NEW ARTIST DEBUT CD and Mary Bridget has been nominated for the SEAN COSTELLO RISING STAR AWARD! Voting begins July 1st, so check out the link and cast your vote!
2013 Blues Music Award Nomination!
By JenJo on December 13, 2012
Best New Artist Debut
What an incredible honor to be nominated amongst so many artists that I have learned SO much from over the years. I went to the BMA’s last year and as I sat there I was like, “How cool would it be if…” Well, I guess I will tell you how cool it is to be nominated and sitting there May 9th! It’s going to be an incredible weekend!!!! Online voting is now open and you can also buy your tickets to the show now! Please visit www.blues.org to read all about the amazing artists that have been nominated and it what categories. Thank you all so much. MB
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN
OCTOBER 4, 2013
Like a comet that burns far too brightly to last, Janis Joplin exploded onto the music scene in 1967 and, almost overnight, became the queen of rock & roll. The unmistakable voice, filled with raw emotion and tinged with Southern Comfort, made her a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock.
Now, you’re invited to share an evening with
the woman and her influences in the new Broadway
musical, A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN.
Fueled by such unforgettable songs as “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Mercedes Benz,” “Cry Baby” and “Summertime,” a remarkable cast and a breakout performance by Mary Bridget Davies, A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN, written and directed by Randy Johnson, is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences—icons like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, who inspired one of rock & roll’s greatest legends.