Mary McBride

Everything Seemed Alright

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Mary McBride was born in Louisiana and raised in Washington D.C., but spent 15 years living in New York City before launching her roots-rocking debut, Everything Seemed All Right. Anyone with a vague knowledge of venues such as Rodeo Bar or the Lakeside Lounge knows that NYC has long had a deceptively strong Americana thing going on, from roots rock to alt-country. Circa 2002, Mary McBride represents the cream of that crop, making her mark with a fiery blend of blues, rock 'n' roll, and country on her debut album. McBride may adopt a love-is-lost stance on many of the tracks, but in her corner of the Americana map she reacts with righteous indignation, often coming off like a less bombastic Melissa Etheridge. The heartbroken title track trades in tears for a bellyfull of anger ("Everything seemed alright/ Then the goddamned bottom fell out"), while the fierce, sprightly "That Was Then, This Is Now" makes no bones about calling a suddenly less-than-adequate love affair to the mat. A lot of comparisons to Lucinda Williams will surely dog McBride, but in truth she's more in the vein of the '70s output of Bonnie Raitt or Linda Ronstadt (the more rocking side of the latter). And she skirts Williams' existential and emotional complexities for straightahead roots rock bolstered by a voice like sweet iron. McBride enlists a strong clutch of Americana vets to help her out on this album, including production by Lou Whitney (The Skeletons), and she co-writes with Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites), Steve Wynn, Mojo Nixon, and Eric Ambel (The Del Lords).

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