Mary Bue is a songwriter, Nada yogi, traveler, runner, vegan, retreat guide, and teacher based out of Minneapolis, often roaming this beautiful world. Named Best Songwriter of 2020 by City Pages, her newest album The World is Your Lover – produced by the Suburbs’ Steve Price – is a synthesis of her seven-plus releases, merging pianos and guitars, spiritual longing, and real-world sorrow. Her previous albums achingly express life in melancholy piano-poems, yet in 2015 Mary risked a genre switch to aggressive electric guitars, concise lyricism, and a nod to 90’s grunge. Prolific, lyrical, and sometimes crass, Mary’s performances are warm and laced with quirky humor and stories of her adventures (and misadventures). A survivor and advocate, Mary is often invited to perform and speak about her healing process surrounding #MeToo which she predated in her song Petty Misdemeanor (The Majesty of Beasts, 2017).
Not one to bow to popular music trends, Mary has stayed true to her own sound. She evolved and emerged, butterfly-like, with support from her new band collaboration Mary Bue & the Monarchy (a nod to the precious pollinator that graces Minnesota summers) featuring Steve Price, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Richard Medek, Shannon Frid-Rubin, Julia Floberg, Molly Maher, and Crystal Meisinger with special album guests Alan Sparhawk (Low), Adam Levy (The Honeydogs) and Stephan Kung (The Suburbs).
In January 2020, Mary traveled to Rishikesh, India at the base of the Himalaya (where the Beatles & Donovan studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) to further her yogic studies (certified instructor since 2009). She attended Nada Yoga School to study Nada Yoga – the yoga of sound. Sanskrit mantras, lessons in harmonium, voice, and sitar (which she purchased and brought home, ha!), yoga asana, pranayama, meditation, and purification techniques were practiced to invite a pure vessel for deeper experiencing & creation of sound.
An accomplished recording artist and touring musician, Mary’s eight studio albums manage to capture her electrifying stage presence. Mary’s last four albums were 100% fan-funded via Kickstarter. She has been awarded numerous Artist Residencies including The Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, NM, Escape to Create Artist in Residence in Seaside, FL, and the Big Cypress Nature Preserve Artist in Residence in Ochopee, FL. Over many years, 44 states, hundreds of thousands of miles and countless venues from tiny coffee shops to large outdoor festivals, Mary has shared the stage with many talented musicians, including Shawn Colvin, Low, Charlie Parr, Erin McKeown, Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde), Emm Gryner, Kathleen Edwards, Marissa Nadler, Rose Polenzani, Jess Klein, Sarah Borges, Mason Jennings, HALEY, Jack Johnson, Vetiver, Cory Chisel, Nicole Atkins, Jeremy Messersmith, Anaïs Mitchell, Audra Kubat, Vandaveer, Chris Bathgate, Chris Trapper and more.
There is a curious power in the ability to view one’s life with an unjaundiced eye. It’s not about being fearless, although that doesn’t hurt, it’s about the ferocity of spirit required to accept the world as it is and move forward from there. Singer/songwriter Mary Bue’s songs crackle with this power, mixing piano and guitar, folk and pop, and redolent with private tragedy and shared elation. Her voice, described as “marvelously sultry and cool,” lends her vivid, sometimes existential lyrics a texture that is both intimate and expansive. This intimacy is Mary’s calling card. Her lyrics invite you in and you’re right there with her as she sings, barefoot in the sand or walking along the Mississippi, heart pounding from your chest, letting go, hanging on, vibrant, alive. She brings you into her adventures, trials, and triumphs through her lyrics, and keeps you engaged with melodies you’ll find yourself humming to yourself long after the music has ended.
– Aaron Richner
Mary describes her own Mary Bue work as the retellings of adventures, mishaps, and pains-in-the-ass. Which is simply to say that through her experiences touring the country, studying yoga in Seattle, attaining a Bachelors degree in psychology, and falling in and out of love, she has a lot of wisdom to retell. The songs are a map she has drawn through the depths of the ocean of human experience; and even though the lyrics are often pulled from secret, dark places, Mary’s presence is a positive one, full of laughter and light.
– Amy Clark, 91.7 KAXE
If intimacy intrigues you and makes you into a skittish peeping tom, then be sure to catch Bue at her next performance.
– Alan Sparhawk, LOW