Reviews

Reviews for the debut album “Mary Jo Curry” are praising the singer and band. Here’s what they had to say:

“What just might just be a “Best New Artist Debut” nominated disc” — Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro, Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com. Read More…

Mary Jo Curry is a powerful debut release of the first order.” Marty Gunther, a writer with Blues Blast magazine. Read More….

“All l have to say at this time is “Wow Wow Wow”!!!” Peter Merrett, PBS106.7, Melbourne, Australia. Read More….

“Mary Jo Curry is the real deal, from head to toe, beginning to end.” Bill Wilson, Chicken Wilson Blogspot. Read More….

“She manages to find that line between old school blues and modern songwriting.” Professor Johnny P’s Juke Joint. Read More….

“This self-titled album is a powerful blues album.” Philip Verhaege. Read More….

Mary Jo Curry CD cover


Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro,
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com

With this self titled CD being her debut release, I’d like to take this opportunity to say “Welcome to our world, Mary Jo”. On the recording, Mary Jo Curry – on the vocals – is joined by: (husband) Michael Rapier and (producer) James Armstrong on guitar; Darryl Wright and Lawrence Baulden on bass; Andrew Blaze Thomas on drums; Brett Donovan on keyboards; Dick Garretson on trumpet; Mike Gillette on sax; Larry Niehaus on trombone and L. A. Davison on background vocals. “Mary Jo Curry” (the disc) contains nine tracks of which two of the four originals were written by Mary Jo with the other two being penned by Michael.

So you wake up one morning and find that your mate has vanished during the night. Yikes! Panic strikes and you immediately call the police to report a missing person, right? Wrong! In Mary Jo’s case “hell must have froze over” and her “ship must have come in”. As a matter of fact, she’s so happy to be free she jumps up and starts singing “Ooooo Weeee“. This humorous and clever original track is highlighted by impressive lead & background vocals and outstanding horn blowing headed up by Dick’s piercing trumpet leads.

Immediately following is “Husband #2“, the term she uses to let her current husband (ironically, the writer of the song) know that he’s basically got one foot out the door and the other foot on a banana peel. With good support from the horn section, it’s Lawrence (bass) and Andrew (drums) heading up the tight rhythm on this one. That, combined with several nice guitar leads from Michael, along with lots of vocal sass-itude from Mary Jo, and this is another of the disc’s best.

With the first few songs being light and upbeat, it’s time to hear the serious side of Mary Jo, and damn…can she get serious! “Wrapped Around My Heart” is a slow blues ballad on which she just belts the vocals clear out of the park. Talk about range – she’s smooth then rough, soft then powerful, calm then stormy and compelling throughout it all. Now you know with these kind of slow and low down blues songs you’ve got to have some scorching guitar leads to bring it all together and Michael did indeed bring it all together. By far, the disc’s best track and I want more of this. Wow!

Well, my wish was granted because the very next track is another scorcher. On this one, her man has been “Steppin’” out and I pity the fool ’cause he’s about to feel the wrath of Mary Jo. Anger, frustration and ferocity never sounded so good. Musically it’s a monster as well. James is masterful on lead and slide guitars; Darryl and Andrew have an intense rhythm going on; and Brett’s relentless organ chords are adding just the right edge to the track.

When a married guy comes home late from a night out on the town he’d probably not get in too much trouble if he smelled of booze. Why I’m pretty sure reeking of weed might not even raise an eyebrow. But fellas, you come home “Smellin’” like sex and you’re in a heap of trouble. Mary Jo ain’t taking that crap and your lady won’t either. With this track being the funkiest of the lot, you know Darryl (bass), Andrew (drums) and Brett (organ) are creating a fuss and this time, it’s Michael (the songs creator) killin’ it on slide guitar.

Other tracks on “Mary Jo Curry” – what just might just be a “Best New Artist Debut” nominated disc – include: “Little By Little“, “Voodoo Woman“, “When A Woman’s Had Enough” and “Homewrecker“.

Want to know more about Mary Jo Curry? Of course you do, so just go to www.maryjocurry.com and find out. You can also check her out on Facebook by simply searching Mary Jo Curry. Once you find her, please tell her the Blewzzman sent you.

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Marty Gunther, a writer with Blues Blast magazine

Usually, when a theater company decides to perform a play involving the blues, it recruits a vocalist from the music scene to carry the load. It’s highly unusual for an artist to take the reverse route. But that’s the case with Mary Jo Curry.

The Central Illinois resident studied voice and theater in college before taking her strong, sultry alto on the road with touring theater companies. She toiled before discovering her true love five years ago and making the jump to the blues.

Judging by this tasty eponymous debut CD, which was produced by guitarist James Armstrong, it was the right choice. She delivers this collection of four originals and five covers in addition to contributing six-string herself. She penned two of the songs and hubby Michael Rapier, who shares guitar duties with Armstrong, the two others. Rounding out the sound are bassists Darryl Wright and Lawrence Baulden, drummer Andrew Blaze Thomas, keyboardist Brett Donovan, a horn section of Dick Garretson (trumpet), Mike Gillette (sax) and Larry Niehaus (trombone) and backing vocals from L.A. Davison.

The Mary Jo original “Ooooo Weee” kicks off the set. It’s a loping shuffle that opens with a brief guitar instrumental before she opens her mouth and proves without a doubt that she means business. The song’s a celebration about waking up to discover that the man who’d shared her bed was gone and she was finally free. It features a swinging mid-tune solo from the horns with Garretson taking the lead. Curry’s attack is slightly and perfectly behind the beat.

Rapier’s “Husband #2” follows. It’s a medium-paced blues that features the guitars and is delivered as a full-throated threat to hubby No. 1 that the singer’s on the hunt for a replacement. A traditional take on Junior Wells’ “Little By Little” is up next, followed by a cover of the Tom Hambridge/Richard Fleming number, “Wrapped Around My Heart,” which appeared on James Cotton’s star-laden Cotton Mouth Man CD. It’s a slow, grinding ballad, and Mary Jo holds her own with Ruthie Foster, who handled the vocals on the previous release.

Curry obviously won’t back down to anyone. The next two numbers have been fixtures in two more female blues stars. Written by filmmaker/guitarist Byl Carruthers, “Steppin’” was first performed by his band, the cult favorites Café R&B, and featured dynamic powerhouse Roach on vocals. “Voodoo Woman” was part of Koko Taylor’s arsenal.

A cover of Dennis Walker’s “When A Woman’s Had Enough” precedes two more originals to conclude the set. Mary Jo’s “Homewrecker” is a straight-ahead walking blues sung from the view of one woman singing to another after the first lady’s man has hooked up with the vocalist. Curry’s lyrics make it quite clear that the real homewrecker in the situation was woman No. 1, and not her. The uptempo “Smellin’” brings the action to a close. Written by Michael, it’s delivered from the position of a woman whose nose tells her that her man’s been cheating again.

Available directly through the artist’s website (address above) Mary Jo Curry is a powerful debut release of the first order, she’s definitely worthy of a wider audience. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m pretty sure you will, too!

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Peter Merrett, PBS106.7, Melbourne, Australia

All l have to say at this time is “Wow Wow Wow”!!!  This album is a revelation to say the least….for me there is no downs to the album as it is absolutely top shelf ….will quickly appear on radio playlists and music charts as people discover the majesty of Mary Jo Curry. I for one am an instant fan! This is a faultless introduction to a new artist and man the bar has been set very high indeed.

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Bill Wilson, Chicken Wilson Blogspot

Mary Jo Curry is the real deal, from head to toe, beginning to end.


Professor Johnny P’s Juke Joint

Curry’s album progresses from happy bouncy tunes to the darkest parts of a woman’s soul and the journey is intoxicating. Her vocals are so very strong and she conveys emotions so well that it’s almost like we become possessed by her. She manages to find that line between old school blues and modern songwriting.


Philip Verhaege, www.keysandchords.com/

This self-titled album is a powerful blues album. Mary Jo Curry’s exciting vocals, accompanied perfectly by this amazing backing band. Highly Recommended. 4.5 out of 5.

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