Stationed in the Windy City by way of St.Louis, Mary Porzelt, known to fans by her stage name, Sweet Mary, is getting ready to add a new city to her list of addresses. Following in the footsteps of her close mentors and friends, The Main Squeeze, the blues singer will be moving to Los Angeles later this year in pursuit of new musical opportunities. But before leaving the home of blues, Sweet Mary spoke with Listen Live and Local about her upcoming show, her passions outside of music and even let us in on a secret about where she feels most inspired to write.
One of the best things about the Chicago music scene is it isn’t dominated by a single genre. On any given night one can hear the soulful groan of a blues band, the twang of an Americana banjo or the pulse of a hi-hat in a modern jazz tune. And sometimes, one can even hear all those things on the same stage. This was the case (though a different representation of genres) on Friday, February 12th at Martyrs’; a night featuring three local bands with three different sounds.
The night started with some progressive folk rock provided by Doug Shotwell & The Right Hand Band. While Shotwell is a Virginia native his “right hand” men are mainly made up of Chicago jazz, blues and rock musicians. Together the group crafted a sound rooted in soul with smooth slide guitar lines and a constant steady push from the rhythm section. On the surface, the songs felt simple, giving them a laid back, easy-to-listen-to vibe. But underneath there were layers of complexity which helped differentiate the songs from one another. It also helped keep the music from sounding too run-of-the-mill or twangy.