Track Premiere: Mark and Mary

Mark Rogers and Mary Byrne by Shervin Lainez 3

Key tune from duo’s recently released debut album…

By Blurt Staff

Mark Rogers and Mary Byrne — aka Mark and Mary — have just dropped their sparkling debut album I Line My Days along Your Weight via the eclectic Important Records label, and you, gentle BLURT readers, are the recipient of an exclusive track premiere from the duo. Check out “Green Gold Violet”:

Some details:

 During the coldest days of January 2014, Mark and Mary cut the tunes that would become I Line My Days. These two were inches apart, facing each other, intent upon listening: a true duet. Weaving together archaic sounds from baritone acoustic, tricone resonator, golden-era flattop, space-age lap steel guitar, upright piano, and hundred-year-old mandolin, the pair created a vibrant new strain. Throughout, Mary sang, emphatic yet unaffected. And every day they loaded up on high-protein bars and piled on multiple layers of clothing for the walk to GaluminumFoil studios because Brooklyn, this past winter, was utterly arctic. But you wouldn’t know it by the warmth of the recordings they made. All the songs were recorded live to two-inch analog tape, the production equivalent of tightrope-walking without a net. Mark and Mary later added minimal touches of lap steel, piano, and electric guitar — but essentially what you hear is what they performed together, start to finish, facing each other.

Rogers and Byrne each grew up on opposite sides of Central Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River, but their paths did not cross until years later in the explosively creative East Atlanta music scene. From there, the two moved to Brooklyn, where they married, and where Mary earned her MFA in writing from Brooklyn College and Mark quickly became an in-demand stage and session player and music instructor. Their collaboration began in earnest in the days after Hurricane Sandy hit New York in November 2012; with the city at a standstill, the two sketched many of the songs now included on their debut release.

Before this, Mark played with Brooklyn indie-folk band The Loom, with whom he toured and performed as part of Brooklyn Academy of Music’s “Next Wave” series and at Pop Montreal and CMJ. He also was multi-instrumentalist and songwriter with Atlanta’s renowned alt-Americana quartet, Myssouri, whose “War/Love Blues” was selected by Pitchfork as a top album. Mary was lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for Atlanta trio Hot Young Priest, which toured nationwide; their “Fiendish Freaky Love” (Two Sheds Music) garnered critics’ praise.

More details, tour dates, etc:

Photo credit: Shervin Lainez



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