Get ready for another big deal
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Whether you know MaryLeigh Roohan, or are about to, you are going to find a new fave out of an old fauve.
Which may, or may not, need some clarification. We’ll get there.
In the meantime, let me tell those who are hearing about this young artist with quite a future for the first time that you are in for a singular treat if you avail yourself of the opportunity to celebrate with MaryLeigh Roohan and her friends as she officially releases her outstanding EP, Skin and Bone, tonight at the Parting Glass, 40-42 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs. A big prestigious stage for an artist of any age, but just big enough for one who has an experiential bank belying her young years.
One measure of the esteem she has already acquired in this discerning songwriter community is the company she will keep on stage. This evening, MaryLeigh will be introducing the following band mates at various points:
Jason Brown–bass (he is also Skin and Bone’s producer),
Joel Brown—guitar (senior artist-in-residence at Skidmore, member of Triple Play),
The last three on the list will form the core of MaryLeigh’s road band, with gigs at WAMC’s “The Linda,” St. Lawrence and Simmons College already on the burgeoning itinerary.
“We’ll be performing the CD tracks in order,” MaryLeigh said, “so people can hear what they’re getting.”
Her humility is refreshing and genuine, but make no mistake: this lady means business. And it says here that the 10-original song CD at $10 is quite a bargain.
Producer Jason Brown has captured the essence of MaryLeigh’s songwriting; the wisdom of an old soul in the body of a young, yearning individual. Consider one example:
“I, I, I, I
I never left you
I just quietly came to
Being loveless and cold”
From “Never Left You”
Throughout the disc, there are these one-two punches. You have the CD on, going about your business, and all of a sudden you’re forced to say “did I hear that?” and replay a passage to be sure. And you’re left to wonder where it all came from. And what’s next.
For MaryLeigh, what’s next will be a continuation of where she came from, the essence of which was formed by picking a guitar while at Emma Willard.
“I didn’t really have much of a social life outside of school, and during breaks everyone scattered, so this occupied me during those times,” she says.
She had some original inspiration from her mother Margaret, a classical guitarist, but hardly came from what you would call a musical family. So largely self-taught until fine-tuned with lessons from Joel Brown. She found a nurturing and supportive community, as many do, at the open mics at Caffé Lena, where her first forays into songwriting were well-received.
Her wanderlust took her to study abroad in St. Andrews, Scotland, where she got her first pro gig: a weekly residency at a pub called 1 Golf Place.
Returning home, and finishing at Skidmore she met David Farnsworth and Zach Edwards, forming MaryLeigh and the Fauves, which had more than a mini-mania of its own, scoring gigs at Hats Off, Victorian Streetwalk and Lark Fest.
In conversation, you find a seasoned professional demeanor that forces yourself to blink and realize that this is a young 20-something.
“Going forward, my goal is to always be the best I can be,” MaryLeigh says. “Even if I’m playing before an audience of two.”
For the future, call her attitude ambitious tempered with a side-dish of realistic.
“For me, the band situation is preferable, I love the sharing with colleagues,” MaryLeigh says. “I’ve got to be realistic, though, touring with a band, I hope we can make it happen. But I’m not afraid to go out on my own.”
Continuing, MaryLeigh says she is confident about her future. “I’m all in as a musician. This is my life, there’s no backup plan.”
Just lots of possibilities. Except one.
“I can assure you that I won’t become a realtor.”
CD Release Party and Concert
Friday, November 8
Doors: 7 p.m. / Show: 8 p.m.
The Parting Glass
40-42 Lake Avenue