Mary Dolan: Guitar (acoustic)

Genre: Acoustic, Rock

Sound description: Soulful folk-rock.

RIYL: Kate Bush, the Cathryn Beeks Ordeal, Anya Marina, Tristan Prettyman, Anna Troy

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Influences: Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Janis Ian, Minnie Ripperton, the Cathryn Beeks Ordeal


Singer-songwriter Mary Dolan traces her earliest inspiration all the way back to the Stones' age. “Some of my best childhood memories are related directly to the Beatles, so that's kind of a natural for me. My older siblings were listening to them, and I can remember completely tripping out and getting shivers over the harmonies on 'Drive My Car.' When I started playing music myself, I began to recognize their genius, versatility, and impact on all popular music. No one has ever come close, as far as I can tell.”

She says she always considered herself a performer. “I toyed with other career ideas like nurse, personal therapist, nun,” she says on her MySpace page. “I always sensed that I was supposed to be of service somehow. With music, I’ve been lucky enough to do something I love and touch a few lives at the same time.”

A fixture in the San Diego music scene in the ’90s, Dolan fell off the local radar for several years.

“Our son Jack was born in November 2004, the day before my Little Flowers CD release,” says Dolan, “and I continued to play out during his first year or so. I was also working at a library and taking classes part-time at City College, and I was just burning out on everything, really. Something had to give. I really lost inspiration and drive and, for the most part, gave up the music.”

After receiving a promotion at the library in 2007, Dolan became ill and was in and out of hospitals through early 2008. “While recovering, I rediscovered the necessity of music in my life and in the lives of others, and I became reacquainted with creativity as a part of my spiritual path. During this period of recovery, I wrote the songs for the In Bloom CD [released September 2008]. It’s a homegrown and deeply personal collection of tunes, and musically…it’s a pretty big departure from my past recordings.”

The native San Diegan has released seven albums (with the first two cassette-only), as well as writing songs with Aerosmith guitarist Jimmy Crespo and Elton John lyricist Bernie Taupin.


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