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Mary Stribling: Press

The Eight Colorado Song Cycle songs

in Mary Stribling's new CD "Lilting Little Heart" include a lament for Old Three Toes, the renegade Colorado wolf killed in 1928 and a ballad about a murder on Argentine Pass.

The old stories lend themselves well to the blend of bluegrass and jazz that characterizes Stribling's music. One of the founding members of the celebrated Mother Folkers, Stribling wrote all the songs on "Lilting Little Heart, including some originally performed by the Mother Folkers.

"King Kong offers a far sunnier ending than the movie did, and "The Whale Chanty" is a whaling story from the whale's vantage point.

Among the Colorado Song Cycle pieces, one song celebrates burros, the sturdy companions of the miners, and another contemplates a pony enduring a series of unforgiving blizzards.

One song is about the mythic La Llorona, the jealous beauty who mourns endlessly for the children she drowned to spite her cheating husband. "Argentine Pass" is a legend of Stribling's own creation. It's a cheerful tune about the revenge of a woman left for dead in the high country.

In contrast, the story of "Old Three Toes" is rooted in reality. The she-wolf was the last of a pack that roamed between Trinidad and northern New Mexico. Old Three Toes, possibly lonely, befriended a rancher's collie.

Their romance began when Old Three Toes and the collie, working together on opposite sides of the ranch fence, dug an escape hole. The collie was found a few weeks later, poisoned. Trappers killed Old Three Toes, and her new litter of collie-wolf hybrids, shortly afterword.

Hear the songs at 8:00 PM, Nov 14 at Tuft Theater at Swallow Hill Music Association.
"...Stribling delivers solid folk, swing, new acoustic and jazz. Her bass playing is solid with interesting arrangements, from the slithering title cut to the experimental newgrass of "The Key". She swings warmly on "Cats Are Cool" yet goes traditional on "How Could I Know" with hammered dulcimer and concertina backing her flowing voice. "Fast Flowing River" is straight bluegrass and she could easily put out just a bluegrass album or swing or trad folk; she is that adept at all styles. She has a strong jazz feel both vocally and lyrically on the lonely bluesy "Our Romance Is..". Writing is tight and finished. Highly recommended.
Victory Review
It's hard to know where to start when talking about Mary Stribling. Highly regarded as one of Denver's top acoustic bassists (and a mean electric player as well) she is also a superb composer and one of the funniest people you'll ever meet. Not only does she give you great grooves, flawless intonation, and a big singing tone with a bit of Mingus in her sound, she may well have missed her calling as a stand-up comedian---a gig with Mary is as entertaining as it is musically rewarding.

Mary probably got her tock solid sense of timing by playing a lot of bluegrass. Her first band, the Twenty String Bluegrass Band, featured the late great Charles Sawtelle on guitar (of Hot Rize fame). She also played for many years in the City Limits Bluegrass Band with banjo maestra Lynn Morris and recorded two LPs with them. Mary is also a founding member of the truly legendary Mother Folkers, which, over the years, featured such Denver greats as Mollie O'Brien, Vicki Taylor and Carla Sciaky. The MFs recorded three albums over the years.

Speaking of recordings, Strib is a seasoned studio pro, playing on releases by Sciaky, Taylor, Katy Moffat, Bonnie Carol, Pamela Robinson, Kathi DeFrancis, Marcia Carteret and many others. And last year at the Botanic Gardens she backed up folk legend Odetta, Josh White Jr. and Ramblin' Jack Elliot.

Mary's original compositions are world-class ahd she formed her own band Combo Amazo to showcase her original music. Her releases with the Combo, "Big Iguana" and "Combo Amazo" feature such masterpieces as "New Mexico" and "Blue Meadow". And, if you don't think she's a complete hoot, a listen to "King Kong" should convince you.

Stribling's song "Chocolate" has been recorded by the Chenille Sisters and featured on "Prairie Home Companion".

Finally, she also has a trio, Colourado, with pianist Deborah Schmidt-Lobis and jazz flute great Ali Ryerson, performing tunes by all three women.

Mary is a monster blues, country, bluegrass and jazz bassist. Catch her live sometime to see what I mean.
Neil Haverstick - Colorado Music Buzz, 2007
"...a nifty collection of originals done in a swingtime, jazz mode with the occasional bluegrass number, Tex-Mex polka or English-styled ballad...a sense of humor plays a significant role in the lyrics. Her jazzy swing efforts like "Cats Are Cool", "Our Romance Is.." and "Heartbreak Canyon" are great and her band Combo Amazo turn in some exuberant sax and guitar solos. Stribling's lead acoustic bass provides the real backbone of these songs. A clever, solid release and an essential item for Mother Folkers fans."
Dirty Linen