With the release of Shine, Mary Karlzen wanders back to her eclectic roots and inspirations with a strong set of new original songs. Shine, Mary's 6th album (and first since the well-received Dualtone release, The Wanderlust Diaries) is filled with the sounds of country, folk, and rock influences.
Produced by Jansen Press, Shine features an outstanding array of guest musicians including Radney Foster, original Mavericks guitarist Ben Peeler, Garry Tallent, Kenny Aronoff, Mark Goldenberg, and more. Even so, it's Mary's soaring yet sensitive vocals that immediately rise to the fore, elevating the emotion and allowing her cascading choruses to soar. From the opening drive and determination of "Slowly Disappear," the assertive stance of "Say You'll Never Go Away Again," and the introspective passion of "Left Alone" and "Moon & The Sky," to quiet contemplative ballads such as "One Step Away From Home," "You Still Belong to Me" and "I'll Be There," there's an undeniable feeling of renewal and resolve, a clear sense that Mary is back with the earnest, engaging attitude and appeal that defined her sound early on. The album closes with a life examination in the soulful and forlorn ballad, "Shine."
Indeed, she's returning to a muse that inspired her early years as a songwriter. Leaning on influences that veered from classic country icons such as Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn to the essential songwriters like James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, and Joni Mitchell. She picked up her first guitar as a teenager and quickly began creating her own compositions, eventually finding her way to South Florida indie label Y&T Music, the original home of the Grammy award-winning Mavericks. Her 1992 self-titled debut album was followed by her EP, Hide, which yielded two hit videos on CMT, TNN, and VH-1 Country. This success led to a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1995 and the release of Yelling at Mary, which received outstanding reviews from The Washington Post, People Magazine, Musician Magazine, The Chicago Sun-Times, Billboard, and dozens of other publications. Yelling At Mary featured renowned artists; Jackson Browne, David Hildago, Belmont Tench, Bob Glaub and launched the single, "I'd be Lying," which received tremendous exposure at AAA radio, charting in the top 20 at all the national trades like Radio & Records, Hits, Album Network and others, including #1 at the influential syndicated show, World Cafe. Karlzen toured the US and Canada for over a year to promote the album, opening shows for Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Lucinda Williams, Nanci Griffith, John Hiatt, Hootie & the Blowfish, among many others.
In the hiatus between The Wanderlust Diaries and Shine, Mary shifted her priorities, centering her efforts on raising two children, and catching her breath after experiencing the haphazard, frenetic pace of the music business. During this time, she formed the children's music trio, The Chickadees, and released two popular albums of nature-based, fun-loving songs. The Chickadees received substantial radio play and two Parents Choice awards for their efforts.
Mary now embarks on a new adventure with the release of Shine. Rays of sunshine illuminate her future plans of sharing both her insights and perspective through her songs. She is grateful to have the help of so many wonderful musicians and friends along the way. Given her resolve and conviction, it's obvious Mary Karlzen is delighted to keep looking for inspiration in the world around her, keep making music, and keep shining on.