I think I’m reasonably well-versed in most things that come under the loose term of indie music, but the fact is that there’s always been so much out there, going back to the late 70s when my interest in buying and playing records began in my teenage years, that it really has always been an impossible task to keep up with everything.
This post is the third in a row as a result of listening again, for the first time in perhaps fifteen years, to the Indiepop compilation.
I had to look up Mary Lou Lord as I had no idea who she is. Here’s some bio as found on her website:-
Mary Lou Lord was born in Salem Massachusetts. She was a college D.J from the ages of 13-16.
Mary Lou attended Berklee College of music with a degree in Audio Production and Engineering. After Berklee , Mary Lou moved to London England to study at The School of Audio at Holloway Rd.
While living in London, Mary Lou began busking and thus her career as a musician was born. “I had never really thought about being a musician myself until I became a busker. It was great…I could play the same song over and over all night, and it really helped me out. The money was minimal, but it was better than being a waitress”.
Mary Lou moved back to the States and began discovering bands and artists like Daniel Johnston, Shawn Colvin, and Elliott Smith . Since many of these artists had no records out, Mary Lou would do covers of their songs to help bring attention to them as well as create a solid repertoire of songs deserving to be heard.
In the early 90’s, Mary Lou began to write her own songs and perform in the Subways and Streets of Boston and Cambridge. She attracted a very loyal following and built her fan base from the “under-ground” up. She continued finding songs and artists that were undiscovered, under-rated, and beloved by music geeks and real music fans. She often would choose songs by artists such as The Bevis Frond, Daniel Johnston, Big Star, and a then unknown band-Nirvana.
While busking one day in Harvard Square, Mary Lou met a young woman named Tinuviel Sampson. Tinuviel had started a label with a friend named Slim Moon in Olympia Washington called “Kill Rock Stars:. Mary Lou was invited by her new friend Tinuviel to go visit with her in Olympia which led to Kill Rock Stars putting one of Mary Lou’s songs (Camden Town Rain) on one of their compilation releases.
Mary Lou soon began recording for Kill Rock Stars which got attention from Major Labels who were then very interested in the Seattle/Olympia scene.
“I was in the right place at the right time-ALL the time back then. I had great ears, and my friends were true music fans. It just worked out that way.”
This turned out to be the debut 45, released on Kill Rock Stars in October 1993:-
It’s rather lovely, dontcha think??
Mary Lou Lord continued to make music for more than twenty years, with her last album being the self-released Backstreet Angels, in 2015. Earlier this year, Fire Records issued She’d Be A Diamond, a double album on vinyl which compiles recordings originally issued between 1993 and 2004, along with some previously unavailable demos.