Hello, Love.

I’m currently sitting at a table on the sidewalk, outside of a coffee shop by the beach.
Hello, Love. Hello, California.

I knew how much I loved it here, and I knew I missed it badly, but it sure is reinforcement to come home and feel a rush of relief.

The past 8 months were amazing. I spent time with my family. I was there for my nephew’s first birthday. I saw my best friends from forever. I sang to college kids around the tri-state area. I flew to Europe. I played shows and saw amazing architecture and stayed with old friends I hardly knew and learned that I love, I met new folks and made new friends. I played in three countries new to Mary Scholz Music. I spent a time recording in London. I wrote every day. I drank lots of coffee and espressos. I ate baguettes and brown bread. I had yet another (but my first overseas) solo adventure. I spent Easter at Notre Dame with a woman I met in front of Buckingham Palace the week prior and became instantly friends with. I took trains and buses and metros and taxis. I ate crepes and biscuits. I slept on couches and in hotel rooms and at bed and breakfasts and in hostels. I carried my guitar and that giant suitcase and witnessed the kindness of strangers every time I reached a metro platform that only had a ridiculous set of stairs. I witnessed the darkness of strangers in harassment and heckling. But mostly, I witnessed the kindness. (That blog is coming)

I flew back to Philly and I was grateful for my time overseas, and grateful to go sleep at my parents’ home. I was there when one of my best friends had her third daughter.

I packed up my car. I drove from city to city, playing shows, being chased by the rain. Everywhere. I stayed with cousins and friends-of-friends and family-of-friends and perfect strangers and my closest friends from college. I camped and hiked and sang and danced. I slept on couches and futons and in spare rooms and tents and bed and breakfasts. I survived/loved fun shenanigans with Sarah, when our tours (purposefully) crossed paths and merged into one in the 5th week. I warded off anxiety attacks about being gone for so long and not having my own home base. I met so many wonderful people and shared stories and listened to their dream travel destinations. I drove 12 hour days and 10 hour days and played shows after them and pretended like I wasn’t exhausted. I loved everywhere that I was while I was there.

I GOT HOME.

I nearly ended up in that fire on the 15S, but I didn’t. I got home.

I haven’t been able to write much since my arrival – I think I’m just in a general state of relief and exhaustion. It’s the first time in YEARS that I don’t have the next 6-10 months planned out in full. (Don’t worry, I’ve got a few things planned – it’s just impossible to have an open calendar if you’re this gal) *side note, I’ve started a new song since starting this blog*

My main point is this – I am so grateful to every individual I have met and come to know in some way over the past 8 months. You’re beautiful. All of you. Thank you for sharing your homes, literal and figurative, with me. And Los Angeles – thank you for catching me when I landed.
It would never be what it is without the wonderful souls I meet, or the wonderful souls holding down the home front for me.

I’m going to go sit on the beach now.

2014

Holy cow, 2014. What an insanely busy, wonderfully exhausting year you were.

Album release, spring tour, fall tour, music videos, Susan G Komen fundraisers, HMMA nominations, radio interviews, album reviews, magazine interviews…and 19,650 miles of driving to get there. I’m tired just thinking about it!

It wouldn’t have been the year it was without my amazing friends and family – each concert attendee, each album reviewer, each venue booker, each host in each city, my spring tour mate and adventure partner Sarah Ault (I love you, lady!), my publicist Jorey Blake, each musician that joined me on stage (Sean, Jaydon, Brandon, Chris, Demetri, Hilary, Erin, Sarah, Sara, Phoebe, Kyle, David, John, Harold, Kubby, Sander, Paul), Elyse for lending me her keyboard, road buddies Alexandra, Mike and Ian, each photographer, radio station, music video participant/editor/filmmaker/crew (Jason, Jordan, V, Jessica, Sean, Chelsea, Matt), car repair shop and everyone I met along the way. You are the people that make it possible for an indie musician like me to have a year like I did.

I am so grateful for you all.

 

Special thank you to everyone who watched and fed my kittens (Chelsea, Tommy, Sheridan, Sarah N, Sarah A, and most especially Kevin!!) and to Alexandra for sharing the huge drive and cat wrangling with me from sea to shining sea.

 

 

Pinktober – Hard Rock Cafe Seattle

Recap: Hard Rock Cafe Seattle Hosts PINKTOBER To Benefit Susan G. Komen Puget Sound

BY 
 November 10th, 2014

The Hard Rock Cafe Seattle celebrated fifteen years of their PINKTOBER campaign during the month of October.  Throughout the month, they hosted live bands led by female vocalists, with a portion of all music ticket sales benefiting Susan G. Komen of Puget Sound.

Mary Scholz (Photo Credit: GeorgieCat Productions)

Mary Scholz (Photo Credit: GeorgieCat Productions)

The mission of Komen of Puget Sound is to fight breast cancer and save lives in Western Washington, and ultimately find a cure for the disease.  The local chapter is the sixth largest among 119 Komen Affiliates working in communities across the country and has invested over $28.6 million over the last 20 years to fund free breast cancer screenings and patient support for low income and underserved women in our community. Since its inception in 1994, over $9.5 million into medical research to find a cure for breast cancer.

I recently attended a show featuring Mary Scholz and the band, Chasing Jane.  Mary, a multi-talented artist based in Los Angeles, sang her beautiful songs while playing a guitar and a keyboard along with her band.  In addition to performing at the Hard Rock Seattle PINKTOBER, she also sang at the Hard Rock Denver event. Seattleites Chelsi Marie and DaLona Foster and their band, Chasing Jane, took the stage after Mary’s set.  With my sister recently being diagnosed with breast cancer,  one of their songs hit me, with lyrics, “…when the world crashes down, look into my eyes, everything’s gonna be alright…”  The lyrics gave me some hope that my sister is going battle her way through treatments and beat cancer!   I had the opportunity to ask Mary and Chelsi a few questions after the show.

What does PINKTOBER and partnering with Hard Rock and Komen for the Cure mean to you?

Mary: I was so glad to be able to be a part of these PINKTOBER shows with the Hard Rock Cafe and help raise money for Komen for the Cure. When they mentioned that they were planning to feature female acts to raise money for Susan G Komen, I was all in. It’s been a running theme for me recently, putting a spotlight on the strength of women who are battling various issues or illnesses in their daily lives, and this was right in line with that. There are so many inspiring women who have battled or are battling breast cancer, and participating in this fundraiser is my way of saying “you keep fighting your fight and we will keep fighting to find the cure.”

(Photo Credit: GeorgieCat Productions)

(Photo Credit: GeorgieCat Productions)

Chelsi: It was a special event. Several of our band members brought people with Cancer. My friend Lisa Quinlan who recently survived a bout with breast cancer was at the event and I know it touched her. I think any opportunity to raise awareness, funds, and hope, is necessary. Playing positive music, that has deep roots, for people who have been through something, is what art and music is about at its core. And, our band enjoyed an excuse to wear way to much Pink live

Why is giving back important to you?

Mary: Being an indie artist, I often rely on the generosity of others, and so I look for any opportunity that I can to give back. Especially when it comes to charities and people in need – if I’m available, I’m there. It’s important to me that we all take care of each other.

Chelsi: Giving back is important to me, and multiple members of our band, because we all have known someone who has had cancer. It’s a life stealer, a joy killer, a thief. But we can take back broken pieces, rearrange them, call it music, and inspire healing, research, and HOPE! We hope that’s what we were able to do partnering with the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle for this event.

During the show, the Hard Rock Seattle staff served me one of their pink margaritas, a Red Berry Press fruit cocktail (the bartender brought out fresh raspberries to infuse in my drink) and a red velvet cake complete with a pink ribbon in the frosting to support Komen Puget Sound.  The drinks were the perfect, sweet accompaniment to a fantastic evening of music and charity.  I had a chance to ask Andy Robinson, the sales and marketing manager for the Hard Rock a few questions.

What does PINKTOBER and partnering with Komen Puget Sound mean to you? Partnering with Komen Puget Sound was a natural fit because they have invested more than $28.6 million to fund breast cancer screening and patient treatment support in Western Washington. To be able to support an organization that is having a dynamic impact locally is quite incredible.

How much have you been able to raise so far for Komen Puget Sound through PINKTOBER? To date Hard Rock Cafe Seattle has raised more than $2,200 this October for Komen Puget Sound. Nationally, PINKTOBER raises thousands of dollars for various breast cancer research charities.

Chasing Jane (Photo Credit: Lesley Haenny)

Chasing Jane (Photo Credit: Lesley Haenny)

Are there other charities that you give back to? Hard Rock Cafe Seattle’s goal is to foster a few intimate relationships with charities and grow those connections throughout the year. In addition to our local Komen partnership, nationally, the other partnership we focus on is WhyHunger, through the IMAGINE There’s No Hunger campaign. To date, IMAGINE has helped communities grow enough food to provide more than 9.7 million nutritious meals to children and supported programs that taught more than 27,600 community members techniques for sustained food production. This year, IMAGINE is aiming to hit a program milestone of 10 million meals locally produced and served. From November 3rd through December 31st 2014, a portion of the retail price from the sale of Hard Rock’s limited-edition IMAGINE merchandise will directly benefit WhyHunger and its fight against childhood hunger and poverty.

 

– See more at: http://askmissa.com/2014/11/10/recap-hard-rock-cafe-seattle-hosts-pinktober-to-benefit-susan-g-komen-puget-sound/#sthash.7ca17iEj.dpuf

Western US tour, HMMAs

Well, tonight’s the night for “Bridges We Burn” at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards!

I just got back from a fantastic three week tour of the Western United States – covered 4,475.2 miles of our beautiful country, sang for folks at bars, restaurants, coffee houses, listening rooms, radio stations, and the fantastic Hard Rock Cafe(s). It was an honor to be a part of the Pinktober fundraisers for Susan G Komen both in Denver and Seattle.

 

Thank you to everyone who came out to the shows, and all of my wonderful venues and sound people for having me!

Up next is LA at Bar Lubitsch, then San Diego at Lestat’s West, then off to the east coast to sing at West Chester University! But tonight…I’ll be posting photos from the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. 🙂

 

 

Mary Scholz at the Hotel Cafe – Show Review from Vents Magazine

Mary Scholz: a dark- haired, ringlet-crowned angel opens her wings in the Hotel Café

 

I am so glad I decided to join t unusually large crowd Sunday night to see Mary Scholz at the Hotel Café. I had heard her single, “Bridges We Burn”, and knew she had released a new album, The Girl You thought You Knew, but otherwise I did not know her music. Her clear, bell-like voice, her confidence on stage, her honest lyrics and her intimate introspection all combined to make her performance a joy.

 

No artifice, no nervousness, no hesitation – Mary Scholz is in her element on stage When she turns that wicked-brilliant smile on the room, framed by her trademark long feather earrings, she can make you and each person in the audience, whether friend or soon-to-be-friend, relax into what seems like a personal relationship. Hotel Café Sunday night felt like I was at a house concert at my house and I was lucky enough to have a dark-haired, ringlet-crowned angel singing in my living room.

 

Best of all, this angel gifted us with 11 songs, many from her new album, starting with the eerily beautiful “A Mournful Noise” which set the stage – her fans knew they would not be disappointed. She continued to fulfill her promise by belting out “The Girl You Thought You Knew”, the title track of the new album, giving it all she had.

 

Moving through “I Can’t Tell You Why”, Mary paused, gave us a chance to catch our emotional breath and then broke our hearts with “Bridges We Burn”. No matter how many times I hear them, the linesWhere is my life /Tell me where did it go /I saw for a moment the way it could shine /Then I lost all controlwill always bring back memories and put a lump in my throat. Mary’s vocals which can range from soft and plaintive to powerful and urgent moved from a loving massage to an emotional hypodermic. But, regardless of the key or the volume or the range when she sang, it is always simply herself – honest and just there. It was remarkable.

 

She broke the “Bridges” spell and brought us back to the Hotel Cafe with banter – stories from the road and a grateful thank you to everyone who had shared their homes with her on her recent tour, and then picked us up with the high tempo “Run Baby Run”. But the short break was over as she melted into the so potent, so personal “Someone Else’s Wife” and then the deep imagery of “In My Bed”.

 

The room went quiet when she dropped her amazing voice an octave to slide into “Bed”, seducing us to listen and visualize. As her smoky voice rose with yearning, singing I wanna know the way you whisper /And the way that you move /I wanna feel you inside /I wanna know that it’s not just /Inside of my mind, a palpable eroticism drifted like tendrils of fog through the room.

 

For “Leave Some Light”, she put down the guitar and sat quietly on center stage with her partner on the guitar. He started the song and sang the chorus while Mary exploded into the verses with a powerful, soaring voice pitched to the upper range. While we caught our breath, she quietly moved to the piano and performed what I think was the best song of the night, “One More Day”.

 

With vocal control so precise a listener would not be aware of it, she begged us toGive me one more day/Give me one more way to feel the pain I’m in/Then you’re free to walk away . The power and emotion Mary pulled out of the piano and the lyrics, born of 7 years of touring and writing, held us spellbound. We could have stopped there.

 

But Mary wasn’t done with us. Her friend and traveling partner, Sara Ault, took Mary’s place at the piano, a contrast in a blood-red full length gown to Mary’s simple short black dress and black textured stockings, and launched into the high-energy “Radioactive” to the delight of the crowd. Mary then wrapped the night with the ambiguously introspective “Carry On”, telling us But that just keeps me hanging on /And keeps me singing another song. We hope so.

 

Patrick O’Heffernan,

 

Host !

 

Mary Scholz

 

Tour – day 16

Have I really not posted since the album cover reveal? That would mean I posted nothing after the album release or release show – which was an amazing night.

 

The album was released February 18th, with a show at Bar Lubitsch on the 22nd (of course) It was a packed house and such an amazing night! My current tour mate Sarah Ault opened up the night and I had so many great musicians join me onstage for my set – Chris Thomas, Brandon Slavinski, Sean Keegan, Demetri Evdoxiadis, John Clinebell, David Sparrow and Jaydon Bean. 

Photo by Gianni Neiveller

 

Okay, so on March 7th Sarah and I packed up my little Mazda 3 hatchback for 3 months of driving around the country. We’re 16 days and 6 shows in and it has been a wonderful whirlwind. If you asked us what day of the week it is or what city we’re in, we might not be able to tell you. Thank goodness for calendars, phones and road signs.

I CAN tell you that it’s March 22d and we are sitting at my best friend’s kitchen table in Atlanta – we arrived last night after a packed two days in Orlando (we hit all four Disney parks in one day, then played a show the next), which was a follow up to New Orleans, Austin (SXSW), Phoenix and San Diego.

 

San Diego started with a Chris Trapper early show, then ours.  It was a wonderful night.

 Phoenix was the Hard Rock Cafe with a crazy great crowd. The sound went out before the last song so I got off stage and stood in the middle of the audience to close out the show – invited those sitting farther away to come closer and it got so quiet you could hear a pin drop. And me sing a quiet acoustic song through the venue. It was a bit like magic for me.

Austin and SXSW – that’s going to get it’s own post, I think. It was a crazy few days and the shows were great, but it definitely came with some mixed feelings after seeing that terrible accident. Musically, I got to do an impromptu set at Shakespeare’s Pub, then the schedued show at 219 West for the Hype/Hearo.fm showcase – it was a really excellent round and I had a great time.

New Orleans – Both Sarah and I were feeling under the weather so we were grateful for cloudy skies and a relaxed atmosphere. We ate some delicious food, listened to some wonderful music and slept while listening to the rain on the side of the house. Not too shabby. Our show was at Neutral Ground – the “oldest coffee shop in the south.” It was a really neat place with really enthusiastic listeners!  Sarah and I did this impromptu cover…

 

After a late show in NOLA we were up early for the ten hour drive to Orlando – five hours sleep and then fourteen hours in the parks at Disney! We had one day off and we made it count – hit all four parks in one day. Whew!

Okay more soon…. Love to all!

It started with a map…

 

So this is happening on my computer right now.

 

As you know, I’ve been in the studio since July working on the album. As you also know, we wrapped up production on it last month. As you may have heard, I’ve been planning the album release tour since September, and it’s beginning to take some nice shape if I do say so myself.

But what you probably don’t know is how these things get put together when it’s an indie artist like myself. So I figured I’d let you know how I fill my days, and how I end up traveling so much.

 

Usually the first question that I get from people when I talk about the album or tour is “How do you pay for all this?” 

To answer that – I work a lot. When I was just starting out in the business I used to try to act like I was making all of my money from musical pursuits, but let’s be real here – that’s not true. In a way it was – when I was living in Philly, my source of income was shows, teaching voice lessons and singing funerals for nearby churches. Out here, it’s performances, teaching voice lessons, waiting tables, transcription work, film production jobs, etc. Whatever it takes to get the album finished and the tour funded. For the album, of course, I did an IndieGoGo fundraiser and raised just over $5,000, about 1/3 of the cost of creating the album. And that’s doing it “on the cheap” with gracious discounts from talented friends and referrals. I am SO grateful for my generous donors because it lightened the load and made creating the album the way that I wanted to much more possible.

But if we’re being realistic, it’s just a damn expensive pursuit. So here I am, temping as a receptionist, writing this blog on my lunch break.

 

You can see why independent musicians (like myself) get upset when people think that they should get music for free. I’d love to make that music for free, too. But everyone deserves payment for their expertise – studios, engineers, musicians, instruments  – the list goes on. And that’s just production. Once that’s done, it has to be mastered. There’s design work. Photo shoots. Reproduction costs. Shipping costs. Promotion costs. Merchandise costs. It costs to put it up for sale online. It costs to run the website. It costs to have your domain name. It costs to copyright your material. Not to mention the usual – rent, food, phone, insurance, etc.

And without a label, all of that cost falls on the artist who, until a cd is purchased, is not getting paid.

 

This is not a complaint, mind you. It’s an explanation. This is the profession and life I’ve chosen for myself. One I Love with all of my heart. But there’s nothing easy or cheap about it. And sometimes I think people get hung up on the “glamorous” side of it. The things that I feel extremely lucky for, which is all of the interesting and different day-to-day experiences, the people I get to meet and the places I get to see. But while it may look like a carefree life, it is an extremely tiring road that continuously tests you. Not one of the beautiful musicians that I know is “living like a rock star.” They’re living so they can do what they love. And I find that to be a most admirable way to live.

 

The next question I get is usually “Do you have a manager?”

I do. Her name is Mary Scholz. 😉

 

“Well do you have someone that does your booking for you?”

I do. Her name is Mary Scholz. I currently manage myself and do my own booking, and have been working this way for the past 7 years. When I’m working on a tour, I map it out first, literally on a map, as well as a calendar, and then start contacting venues and booking agents in the cities I’ll be stopping in. Sometimes I’ll contact another songwriter from that area. Sometimes a friend will put me in touch with someone they know in a town that’s new to me. We work out show details, artist cut of the door charge, etc.

Then I save. Gas. Tolls. Food. Drinks with friends. The occasional site see cost.  And I rely on the generosity of the people who open their homes to me to cut out hotel costs. And I rely on the promotional work of the awesome fans in each city who invite their friends to come to the show. And that’s how I get to meet so many new people. And that’s how I get to sit on stage and talk about life, love, loss, loneliness and laughter.

And I’m GRATEFUL for it all. Grateful that I’m able to work. Grateful for the jobs that I acquire. Grateful that I live in a country where I, as a woman, may freely pursue the life I want to lead. Grateful for the talented artists who have donated their time when I was in crunch time crisis mode with the budget. Grateful for YOU because you’re still reading.

I’m not sure what my point is anymore. I look at that map and it is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. It’s a lot to save for. It’s a lot to do solo. But it’s going to be amazing. I’ve got a publicist on board for this tour and already so many amazing hosts lined up for cities that I can’t wait to return to, and cities that I can’t wait to introduce myself to. And I’ve worked 9 shifts this week at three different jobs and I’m about to fall asleep.

 

And I think I just wanted to chat about what’s been going on in the world of Mary Scholz.

Did you make it through? You deserve a gold star. Also, I love you. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Philly Fundraiser

Just thought it would be fun to post this conglomeration of photos here on the blog. In honor of next Thursday’s fundraiser show at The Twisted Tail in my home city, I put together this collage for today’s Throwback Thursday. It’s all Philly show photos, ranging from 2006 to 2012.

Hope to see all of my homies next week! (BUY TICKETS HERE)

Photos by Jim Flemming, Joanna Scholz, Patty Bonfig, John Hayes, Patti Byrd and Ron Martin.

 

Photo by Don Macavoy

My Life Under the Covers – Weight of It All – Matt Nathanson

My Life Under the Covers

By Mary Scholz

Song Five: 

“Weight of It All” by Matt Nathanson

…The big game changer for me as a songwriter…

One girl, one guitar, one song, one iPhone, one take. It’s not perfect, and not as clean a quality as my new recording equipment. But that’s part of the beauty and the point of this song. Not perfect, not clean. Just real.

 

The year was 2003. It was the summer before my sophomore year of college – one of the most freeing summers I can remember. I was home from school, working as a teacher for a musical theatre camp near my parents’ house and hanging out with a group of kids from high school that I had never really spent much time with.

 

I saw John Mayer and Maroon 5 in concert at the Tweeter center. I started playing open mics. I reconnected with a boy I knew in high school…I had the first of my annual summer pool parties and we had chicken fights and listened to awesome music all night.  At the end of that night I was handed a mix cd that just read “Matt Nathanson.”

 

What I knew was that I was being handed a compilation of songs this boy thought I would enjoy by an artist I’d never heard. What I didn’t know was that I was being handed a compilation of songs by an artist that would intensely shift the way I listened to and wrote music. That would change the way I saw concerts and experienced songwriters.

 

(Matt would probably be happy to know that, not too many nights later, I made out with that boy to that cd)

 

One of the songs on the mix cd was “Weight of It All,” off of Matt’s 2002 release, “When Everything Meant Everything.” It was his last independent release before his first project with Universal. The song was later recorded for “Beneath These Fireworks,” which was released in October of 2003 (just two months after hearing of him the first time).  By the time that album came out I was already a hard-core Nathanson fan. I went to see him play for the first time at Princeton that September with my friend Rick. He played on a tiny raised “stage” in a small room where we had to sit against the wall because there wasn’t really seating and it wasn’t really a venue.

 

I went to see him in coffee houses and learned the way a musician communicates with their audience.  He performed multiple times at “The Point” in Bryn Mawr, a legendary music café and coffee house where I spent my summers playing open mics. (Formerly called “The Main Point”) Billy Joel, Elton John, Bill Wither, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Buffett…they had all graced the same stage.  He was from Massachusetts but he lived in San Francisco and recorded his live album right there are The Point the following summer. I was in the audience. He actually talks to me on the album.  Seeing him live is always a damn good time. You have to be prepared for dirty humor and the chance you’ll get teased from the stage. The man in entertaining, hilarious and a fantastic musician. He’s one of those people that you can see in every motion just how much they love music.

(From his show at the TLA in Philly, April 2005. I love this photo)

 

So this song in particular has always stuck out to me. I’m not sure what it is really, just something about the sentiment of not really being known by the people you are most intimate with. My favorite line by far is

 

“I spent days, stupid, nailed to your floor

And I spent nights, pushed against you

Trying to keep warm

But you don’t know me at all…”

 

… trying to feel warmth from someone who isn’t reciprocating…Or who you know really isn’t truly looking at you.

 

Or the opening…

 

“I’m weak when you miss me

When you roll me on your tongue

When you whisper me your best moves

I almost believe you

But you don’t know me at all. “

 

Okay I love the lyrics. All of them. Of all of Matt’s songs, this one has always resonated with me the most. And I like the original version better than the second. That’s the version I’m covering here.

 

Matt doesn’t play coffee houses anymore. He’s had big hits and collaborated with awesome artists, touring through big venues like Radio City Music Hall. And it seems nowadays I can’t go into a department store, restaurant or coffee shop without hearing one Matt Nathanson song or another playing overhead. And that has been a fantastic journey to watch.

 

Matt Nathanson – thanks for lessons in songwriting, communicating with your audience, knowing yourself and not being afraid to be honest about it through your music. Here’s to collaborating one day.

 

(And thanks to the boy, Brandon, who I still call a great friend, for handing over that mix cd.)

Matt signing “Weight of It All” Live – not the best sound quality but it gives a good idea of him with the crowd…

After seeing him perform the first time: Rick and I with Matt at Princeton, September 2003 (I look so young!)