MARY FLOWER – LIVIN’ WITH THE BLUES AGAIN
“a world-class finger-style guitarist and lap slide player.” –DownBeat
“There are few musicians in the genre bringing as much creative spark and low-key mojo to this century-old music.” -Acoustic Guitar
“[Flower] plays the blues with the soul and wit they were created to be played with… [she] shows an intimacy with the music that’s felt by few.” – Vintage Guitar
No less an authority than legendary Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen admiringly described Mary Flower as “a national treasure in your own backyard.”
Indeed, the internationally renowned award-winning Portland, Oregon-based singer/guitarist/songwriter is a prodigious talent whose seasoned skills have established her as one of America’s foremost roots performers. Flower combines a deep historical knowledge with a restless creativity that keeps her music evolving into new creative territory while echoing influences from Piedmont to the Mississippi Delta, with additional stops at ragtime, swing, folk, and hot jazz.
On her Little Village Foundation album, Livin’ with the Blues Again, co-produced by Flower and Little Village founder Jim Pugh, the artist once again demonstrates the talent, vision, and charisma that have maintained her reputation as one of America’s most versatile guitarists.
Livin’ with the Blues Again marks something of a milestone for Flower, whose prior body of work already comprises a dozen albums, including Bywater Dance that features a collaboration with many of New Orleans’ most prominent musicians such as Henry Butler, Jon Cleary, and Dr. Michael White. On stage, she’s worked with artists ranging from Jorma Kaukonen, Amy Helm, Guy Davis, and Katy Moffatt. Flower sees Livin’ with the Blues Again as a sampler of sorts, offering a representative cross-section of her favorite numbers from her live repertoire.
“I could do anything I wanted for this album,” Flower explains, “so I took all the top songs I’ve been playing live that I hadn’t yet recorded. I also wrote a couple of new songs before we went into the studio.”
In addition to Flower’s own pickin’ and singin’, Livin’ with the Blues Again also showcases key contributions from acclaimed Bay Area violinist Suzy Thompson, who plays and sings on several tracks, as well as the gospel vocal combo and labelmates The Sons of the Soul Revivers, whose distinctive harmonies grace three of the album’s songs.
Indiana native Flower relocated from Denver to the vibrant Portland music scene in 2004. Since then, she’s continued to impress crowds and critics at folk festivals in America and abroad, including Merlefest, Kerrville, King Biscuit, A Prairie Home Companion and the Vancouver Folk Festival, while maintaining a parallel career as a renowned guitar teacher. Along the way, she’s twice been a Finalist in the National Finger Picking Guitar Championship, as well as being nominated three times for the Blues Foundation‘s prestigious “Blues Music Award.”
Although it’s easy to lose count of the honors that Mary Flower has received in her prestigious career, there’s no mistaking the immediacy of Livin’ with the Blues Again.