“With songwriting as powerful as hers, there’s no need to go looking for qualifiers. She’s a unique, intrinsically valuable musical voice. And there’s never a surplus of those.” — Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Time
“One of the best songwriters of her generation.” — The Associate Press
Her most recent release, 2018’s Rifles & Rosary Beads (a collection of songs co-written with wounded veterans) was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Folk Album, and Record of the Year by the Americana Music Association. The UK Americana Association named Mary International Artist of the Year, and Folk Alliance International named Record of the Year Record of the Year.
Each song on Rifles & Rosary Beads is a gut punch: deceptively simple and emotionally complex. From the opening “Soldiering On” (“What saves you in the battle/Can kill you at home”) to “Bullet Holes in the Sky” (“They thank me for my service/And wave their little flags/They genuflect on Sundays/And yes, they’d send us back”), while “Iraq” depicts the helpless horror of a female military mechanic being dehumanized and sexually harassed by fellow soldiers.
Her songs have been recorded by dozens of artists, including Jimmy Buffett, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Bettye Lavette, Mike Farris, Kathy Mattea, Bobby Bare, Amy Helm and Candi Staton, and have appeared extensively in Film and Television, most recently on HBO TV’s Yellowstone.