Mary McCaslin represents an unbroken link between traditional folksingers and today's "new folk" singer-songwriters. Her music ranges from ballads of the old west to her own songs of the new west and modern times. Regarded as a pioneer of open guitar tunings, and known for her distinctive vocal style, Mary's influences can be heard in many younger folk performers.
01. Sunny California
02. Save the Last Dance for Me
03. The Emigrant Song
04. Old Man From Missouri
05. Dust Devils
07. San Fernando
08. The Crossroad
09. The Swimming Song
10. The California Zephyr
Credits of Sunny California
Tony Markellis - Synthesizer, Bass
Robert Mortier - Percussion
Jay Ungar - Synthesizer, Mandolin, Violin
Winnie Winston - Banjo, Guitar (Steel)
Mary McCaslin - Banjo, Guitar, Vocals, Main Performer
Paul Asbell - Guitar
Neil Boyer - Wind
Chance Browne - Guitar
Elliott Delman - Percussion
Chapin Kaynor - Horn
Billy Kinzie - Percussion, Drums
MP3 @ 256kbps
b. Mary Noel McCaslin, 22 December 1946, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. McCaslin's family relocated to California in 1952, where, particularly influenced by Marty Robbins and Hedy West, she gained an interest in the music scene and soon learned guitar and banjo. She also had a deep interest in the Old West and she found Robbins' cowboy ballads gave her the inspiration to write her own Western songs.
In the early 60s, she began singing in local clubs and made her first recordings for Capitol Records in 1967. In 1969, she recorded for Barnaby Records that saw the release of Goodnight Everybody. In the early 70s, while singing at a folk festival, she met singer-songwriter Jim Ringer. They began to work together (they eventually married in 1978) but McCaslin made several solo recordings for Philo Records which led to album releases. She became involved in the folk revival and was later described along with singers such as Carolyn Hester and Jeannie West as being among "the first female role models in youth culture who projected intelligence and independence". McCaslin and Ringer recorded a duet album in 1978 although Ringer also sang harmony or backing vocals on many of her recordings. In 1979, some of her Philo recordings were licensed to Mercury Records which led to her popular Sunny California. In 1981, she moved to Flying Fish Records and Rounder Records acquired all the releases that she had had on the Philo label. McCaslin wrote and performed the soundtrack music for Cattle Annie And Little Britches, a movie starring Burt Lancaster. McCaslin and Ringer continued to play together on tours and at major festivals until 1989, when they divorced.
Many writers contend that McCaslin has never been afforded the credits her talents merit. Rolling Stone once described her in flowing style as "a prairie songstress who creates musical moments of crystalized romance". McCaslin's style has been likened to a mixture of mountain music and singer-songwriter folk while others suggest that she could perhaps be the female version of her inspiration Marty Robbins.
: ~ Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 2005
MM says on her homepage that this album has long been out of print, but remains one of her favourite MM albums.
If anybody could come up with her debut album, Goodnight Everybody (1969), out of print for decades, I'd be very interested.
I first got into MM when I read that she'd been an influence on Gretchen Peters, and I find her to be a very rewarding artist, who deserves to be more widely-heard.