The Marys - Back This Way

Back This Way

The Marys

Zesty 0704

Zesty Records
Box 541061
Orlando, FL 32854

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Michael Gasser

Listening to the debut CD of The Marys (Don Brody and Connie Sharar), one can only appreciate with how much heart, joy and vigor the duo delivers their songs. You can't help thinking what a great live band they must have been. Yes, must have been. And this is the sad part of this review: none of us will ever have the chance to see them perform together again. Don Brody died of a heart attack in his sleep in December 1997. He was only forty-four. He left behind a wife and young children. A great loss of a great talent. And this CD more than just hints at the potential he possessed. Ten short, sharp and very crisp songs. None of them exceeds four minutes, there's no fussing around, the songs come straight to the point, and not a second is wasted.

Don Brody's chiming guitar seems to be omnipresent. Imagine a more modern version of The Byrds in combination with the for once, unplugged Smithereens. But don't get any false ideas as they are in a category all their own. After playing together for nearly a decade the duo from Hoboken represents a very tight unit on this CD. This effect is enhanced by the support of stellar musicians like Marshall Crenshaw and Barry Mitterhoff.

Although neither Don Brody nor Connie Sharar have what is commonly is known as classically beautiful voices, their singing still plays a very important role, giving the music a certain something.

Ringing In My Ears, written for a friend who died of AIDS, has a sad, but in a way still optimistic tone, which seems to be a main ingredient of many of The Marys' songs: "Come on nothing is final, come on, nothing is forever, you're still ringing in my ears."

So let us praise the fact that we can remember Don Brody with this excellent CD. Don Brody and Connie Sharar have achieved a lot with what (presumably) will be their only release. Nothing is forever, but hey, they're still ringing in my ears.

Song List:

  • Back This Way (Brody)
  • Falling (Brody)
  • Ringing In My Ears (Brody)
  • I Know You (Brody)
  • Hey Maryann (Brody)
  • The Day Roy Orbinson Died (Brody)
  • Mr. Woods (Brody)
  • Mandolin Moon (Brody, Cagno)
  • Get Through This Night (Brody, Cagno)
  • Gone (Brody, Cagno, Stengel)

Edited by Roberta B. Schwartz

Copyright 1999, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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