Mary Alice Wood

Mary Alice Wood

BandRockAmericana

Wood mixes subtle lyric influences of Lucinda Williams with rock energy ála Springsteen. She blends honky-tonk, pop, bluegrass and rock into tasty melodic story-songs.

Biography

Nashville based Mary Alice Wood mixes the subtle lyric influence of Lucinda Williams with the raw rock energy of ala Bruce Springsteen. She blends honky-tonk, bluegrass, pop, rock and folk to seamlessly form a new one - her own. Soaring vocals, dynamic stage presence and hooky songs continuously win over audiences. This girl rocks harder with an acoustic guitar than most with electrics.

Her latest is release, "daisies in my hand." "12 different stories about my life," says Wood. The tone of her songwriting on "daisies" is simultaneously reflective, confessional and melancholy, yet hopeful and passionate. The music on the record is at once melodic, striking and diverse.

A prominant player on the album is Bottle Rocket guitarist and fellow St. Louisan John Horton - whose recording credits include Jay Farrar and Mike Ireland and Holler. Wood ran out of good local players when John was invited to join the Bottle Rockets – so she left town.

With a strong belief in her new album and a suitcase full of persistence, Wood packed up and moved to Nashville in Sept. 2003. But let's take a step back.

Growing up in St. Louis' southside offered Wood a steady dose of blue collar life - of heartbreak, love, the continuous hope of something more, the mononity of everyday life. Her songs reflect this melange of life between the lines. Add to that - her family. "I don’t remember a moment in our house when music wasn't being played - either on the radio, record player or the piano. My sisters and I sang 3-part harmony while we washed dishes to keep from fighting!" Wood says.

"I write autobiographical songs about my life," says Wood. They aren't fancy or long - just simple stories about everyday life. Moments that tend to slip between the cracks. Things that you may or may not want to know are down there."

Images extend across the song's surface, as if painted on a canvas, drawing listeners into each setting. It's no surprise that Wood's also a painter and graphic designer. "Songwriting is the same process as painting. Songwriting uses words and melody while painting uses brushstroke and color," she explains.

In '94 and '95, she won the ultra competitive Best Local Songwriter honors from "The Riverfront Times"/St. Louis Area Music Awards, beating out folks like Jay Farrar. The fact that she started writing songs in '92 makes it even more impressive.

In 1998, she put playing out on hold to focus on her design career. "I had a band (sugarstickygirl) and had the opportunity to share the stage for some amazing bands, (Semisonic, Cracker, Iris Dement, Todd Snider and The Bottle Rockets just to name a few). My day job was full of late nights and big responsibilities, and I couldn't do it all." she says.

"After a while, I missed playing out," she says. "I also realized how many songs I never recorded. Something was missing." By 2002 she was ready to return. "I started recording in Feb. and the project was almost complete when in late 2002, she was laid off from her job. It was the opportunity to go after the music career she always wanted.

"Daisies in my hand" is her newest portfolio, and Wood's been working it hard since 2003 - getting rave reviews, radio airplay both nationally and internationally and touring often - be it solo, duet or with a full band - concentrating on the southeast and midwest, and building an ever-increasing grassroots fanbase.

With a Nashville homebase, an always energized Wood works the market with her sales promotion background - talking to and meeting everyone she can who might play even the smallest role in her direction. A tireless self-promoter, she's been busy writing new songs and playing for all who will listen. She's co-writing with some of Americana's best and even taken up the fiddle. For her, it's the best direction she's ever taken.

Lyrics

daisies in my hand

Written By: Mary Alice Wood

I’m as happy as I can be
Just look at the smile I wear
Like a flower stuck in my hair
I’m as happy as I can be

I’m as lucky as one can get
I know fate’s my safety net
silver spoons serve no regrets
I’m so lucky, I never forget

My life is charmed, so I’m told
with talents – gifts to behold
when trouble finds me I smell like a rose
my life is charmed, so I’m told

I picked the high road cause I can
my decisions – daisies in my hand
I get everything you don’t understand
I picked the high road cause I can

Hey Diddle Diddle

Written By: Mary Alice Wood

well hey diddle diddle the cat and the fiddle and little Jack Horner too
sat in the corner just a staring at their dinner cause they din’t know what to do
cause I left town without leaving a clue, and that’s what you get when you break this little ole heart in two

Well, old mother Hubbard she a copened up her cuppard and she thought that she was thru
the shelf was so bare there ain’t nothing in there and she realized the rent was due
so she left town without leaving a clue and that’s what you’ll get when you break this little old heart in two

well old king Cole was a merry ole soul and a merry ole soul was he
but as he stood there crying, I said you might as well quit trying
that’s the last time you’ll mess around with me
so I left town without leaving a clue, and that’s what you get
when you break this little ole heart in two

Well miss Mary Mack drove a Cadillac that we knew Peter Piper had just bought her
but it was found broke down over in tinsel town
and the rumours started flying Peter shot her
cause she left town without leaving a clue, and that’s what you get
when you break this little ole heart in two

Jack and Jill went on up the hill just to fill up their pails full ‘o water
but Jill ran so fast; Jack didn’t stand a chance
and we all knew he never could’a caught her
cause she left town without leaving a clue, and that’s what you get
when you break this little ole heart in two

yeah that’s what you’ll get when you break this little ole’ heart in two

May I be Your June

Written By: Mary Alice Wood

I hope I can love you the way she loved him
Those are giant shoes to fill
The man in black found love so rare, hard to find anywhere
Even death wouldn’t let it lie still

Though he had dark days, he found his anchor, his cornerstone
Her smile was a room with a view
As we watch our young love grow, one thing I wanna know
May I, may I be your June

I’ll be your wildwood flower, your sunny side of life
It’s true – I’d walk any line for you
Fire doesn’t scare me, I’ve been burned before
May I, may I be your June

They followed their hearts, knew love was the sweetest song
Let’s just pray we learn half what they knew
And together we can stand strong, make our love lifelong
May I, may I be your June

I’ll be your wildwood flower, you're my sunny side of life
It's true - I'd walk any line for you
Fire doesn’t scare me, I’ve been burned before
May I, may I be your June

I’ll be your wildwood flower, you're my sunny side of life
It's true - I'd walk any line for you
Fire doesn’t scare me, I’ve been burned before
May I, may I be your June

Discography

Mary Alice Wood (self-titled) released 1993/re-released in 2001

"daisies in my hand" released 2003

Airplay:
“Americana Café”, WOKI 100.3, Knoxville, TN
WDVX, 89.9, Eastern Tennessee
“Freight Train Boogie-Live365” KRCB, Santa Rose, CA
KWMU 90.7FM, St. Louis, MO
“Songwriter’s Showcase” KDHX, St. Louis, MO
“Back Country”, KDHX, St. Louis, MO
“Fishing with Dynamite” KDHX, St. Louis, MO
“Bob’s Scratchy Records” KDHX, St. Louis, MO
“Blue Highways” KDHX, St. Louis, MO
“Dangerous Curves” KDHX, St. Louis, MO
“From Memphis to Manchester”
“Country Function, Bluegrass Junction” KDHX, St. Louis, MO
“Suffragette City” KDHX, St. Louis, MO
“Steve Pick’s Morning Show” KDHX, St. Louis, MO
“Mojo Dreams” Radio Sinaai 105.5, Belgium
“Radio Golden Flash” 104.3, Belgium
“La Otra Musica” 80FM, Cadiz, Spain
“PeelGrass” 90.2FM, the Netherlands
“La Diligencia” Ona Musica, Catalonia, Spain
“Roots Revival” RADIO ATL Bree, Belgium
“Blueprints” Radio Parkstad, Holland

Set List

Crazy for you
can't you see
mornin' girl
daisies in my hand
The Pill (Loretta Lynn)
from the southside
Self Appointed Expatriate
May I be your June
I know a Heartache (Jennifer Warnes cover)
hey hey hey
souvenir
cowboy in a curl
Box Full of Letters (Wilco)
hey diddle diddle
too green
Mary Tyler Moore show theme (punked-up version)

We like to play 1.5 hours in length. Almost all originals - our sets include a small but fun array of various covers.