Mary Walker
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Mary Walker

Irving, Texas, United States

Irving, Texas, United States
Pop Acoustic

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Mary Walker (7) – While Walker’s music fits comfortably in the soft, piano-based pop category, the most notable elements of her songs are the jazz inflections that play both in her vocals and instrumental melodies. - Operation Every Band


Mary Walker, 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Banter: Singer/songwriter Mary Walker is relatively new to the music scene in Denton, but she has already released a full-length album, Heavy Hearts, late in 2012. A multi-instrumentalist, - Dallas Observer


As Denton’s university students finish their last final exams, Spune has a show to celebrate. (Non-students whose circadian clock is synched with the university calendar might feel like a brew and a show, too, for that matter.)
Spune, a Dallas-Fort Worth production company and record label, has a goodly number of Denton acts on its roster, and it is the official booking agency for Dan’s Silverleaf.
That has conspired to make Friday’s show — “A Spune Christmas” at Dan’s — a mix of Dallas and Denton bands. Some of the acts are in their formative years (or months) — Strange Towers, Mary Walker, Biographies — and the others — Robert Gomez and Air Review — are established.
Chambers, a Denton trio in the process of expanding, did its first gig at Index Fest in Dallas just a few months ago. Guitarist Judson Valdez said the indie-folk band grew out of a friendship and collaboration between himself, drummer Chase Johnson and singer and keyboardist Sam Robertson.
“Our manager [and Spune booking agent] Glen Farris approached us and asked if we wanted to be on this show,” Valdez said. “It was cool because we actually got to book a couple of bands on the bill.”
Valdez and Robertson knew of each other from seeing each other’s solo acts. Johnson has long backed Robertson on drums for a while now as she’s built her solo performance. Valdez was a member of Denton’s Baruch the Scribe, which disbanded over the summer. Chance Maggard, also a Baruch alumnus, is now playing with Biographies.
Friday’s show will be a mix of each act’s music and Christmas songs.
“We’re going to do a Rich Mullins song,” Chambers’ Valdez said. “I kind of grew up with my parents playing his music in the car, listening to it. He’s always been in my head and my heart because he reminds me of my dad.”
The song, “You Gotta Get Up,” is a simple song about a child’s anticipation on Christmas morning.
Valdez said mutual admiration brought the musicians together to form Chambers.
“I like to work with people who have something I don’t,” he said. “I like to think I know my strengths and weaknesses, and I like to work with people who complement what I do musically. I feel like I’ve got that with Sam and Chase.”
When nudged to put Chambers on the spectrum of Denton’s music scene, Valdez borrowed a term from Johnson.
“Chase calls it sludge pot, because it’s slow and moody,” Valdez said.
It also seems to fit Chambers’ blend of sound, from Robertson’s folk to Valdez’s experimental “noisy” solo work and Johnson’s pop and worship background.
Mary Walker will release her first album, <ITAL>Heavy Hearts, at the show. The 21-year-old singer-songwriter is unabashed about her stylings.
“My music is pop,” she said. “I think pop makes the world go around. I love a beautiful melody that gets stuck in your head, and that’s what I want my music to do.”
Pop is an apt brand for the record, though it’s easy to hear the jazz influences she picked up during her freshman year at the University of North Texas, where she devoted a year to getting into the vocal jazz program. She didn’t make the program, but instead of giving up, Walker went to shows and made music with jazz students.
Walker said she contacted Farris when she wanted to book a choice date to debut the album she’s been working on for the last year and a half. He suggested Spune’s holiday concert, and she didn’t hesitate.
She’ll add some Christmas songs into her set — and patrons should expect roasting chestnuts to get a vocal loop treatment.
Walker said she put a lot of her resources into <ITAL>Heavy Hearts. She recorded most of the record with Sean P. Jones, a drummer and alumnus of UNT’s One O’clock Lab Band. She also worked with McKenzie Smith, of Denton’s Midlake, in his studio.
“I wanted the album to be the best it could possibly be,” Walker said.
Walker plans to donate half of the proceeds of all CDs she sells at the Spune show to the Starkey Foundation, which provides hearing aids to children in developing countries.
Walker and Valdez said they look forward to the show because it means a chance to see Dallas folk darling Air Review, as well as Gomez.
Gomez has just released his latest album, <ITAL>Severance Songs, and backed Sarah Jaffe on Tuesday on <ITAL>Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Strange Towers is made up of Denton music scene alumni Scott Porter, Lars Larsen, Tony Wann and Cory Ward.
Biographies includes Maggard, Katie Slusarski, Michael Slusarski, Kollin Weaver, J.D. Perry and Ethan McClure. - Denton Record Chronicle


Full interview available at www.youtube.com/austeremag. Article only available through print copy. - Austere Magazine.


"Mary Walker doesn't accept defeat..." - Little D (Denton Record Chronicle)


Podcast Link Below for Listening. - Crisman Productions


"Only a handful of times do you have the fortune of befriending someone who seems in the midst of some wanton affair with life, you can’t help but want to be on it. Singer-songwriter Mary Walker is one of those rarities, having spurred some of the most genuine, creative, and vivacious conversations I’ve ever had the privilege to partake in. And whether she’s playing her original work or a fantastic take on Frank Ocean’s “Swim Good,” she brings that same energy to every melody." - 12 Questions


This week’s “Little Orange Couch Session” features Mary Walker, a Denton-Based musician with a voice sweetly asking for the listener’s attention. With Ryan Napier, a close friend of Mary’s, playing the bass, and Mary Walker playing guitar and singing, it was a special treat witnessing a simple blend of heartfelt, acoustic music. Mary first performed “Beautifully”, a song that although sang in a hushed manner, tugs at hearts’ strings. Mary then played, “Love”, portraying those little moments which make relationships worth all the while. Like an Elliott Smith track, Mary lays out a touching, sincere level of passion, without taking away anything from who she really is.
Filming By: Jessie Kuruc

Editing By: Andrea Younes - Bonfire Webzine


"With more than 200 performances under her belt and her first album nearing completion, Walker is undoubtedly a Dentonite on the rise in the folk music scene." - North Texas Daily


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Mary Walker captures the sweeter notes of a musical life born and bred in North Texas. Her debut album, Heavy Hearts, balances the intellect of Denton’s focused musicianship with the accessibility of cheeky pop.

Whether perched at the piano or behind her guitar, Mary’s flirty vocals beckon in a playful manner reminiscent of Regina Spektor; lyrics ever deepening as they swirl through the psyche of a charming old soul turning 21 all over again. Her quick smile indicates mischief is likely afoot.

“I was always very loud and eccentric,” said Mary, a self-professed class clown. “I was constantly in trouble.”

Mary transferred into public school her sophomore year of high school, but found the cookie-cutter vision of popularity and cheerleading an odd fit for her own eccentricities. Unwilling to waste her energy on the drudgery of suburbia, Mary spent her senior year in Argentina. She fell in love with the piano at 17.

When her father overheard her teaching herself pop songs on YouTube, he gifted her with lessons from Norah Jones’ piano teacher, Julie Bonk. And it wasn’t long until she was turning out studio recordings, bringing her original work to the stage, and wooing crowds of 35 Denton.

Heavy Hearts, scheduled to release this December, manifests the diverse perspectives of small town craft, including producers Sean P Jones (One O’Clock Lab Band) and McKenzie Smith (Midlake). At the core of her music, Mary ties together the intricacies of finely-tuned ears with her own words.

“I am someone constantly pushing my sensibilities to expand the depth of my own music. I never want anyone to be able to pin me under one genre. I have the ability to dabble in music trends without being suffocated by them. I want my pieces to stand the test of time and have a classic backbone while still being relevant.”