“If intimacy intrigues you and makes you into a skittish peeping tom, then be sure to catch Bue at her next performance.” – Alan Sparhawk, Low
Mary Bue is a songwriter, Nada yogi, traveler, runner, vegan, retreat guide, music + yoga teacher based out of Minneapolis, often roaming this beautiful world.
Her newest album The World is Your Lover (release date May 22nd 2020, produced by the Suburbs’ Steve Price) is a synthesis of her previous seven-plus releases, merging pianos and guitars, spiritual longing, and real-world sorrow.
Growing up in Princeton, Minnesota (population 3,000) on a dead end dirt road gave Mary many solitary experiences to explore nature, journals, paintings, and instruments (piano, guitar, alto sax, harp). Sensitive and infinitely daydreaming lead to mountains of stream of consciousness poetry and eventually songs. Discovering yoga techniques at age fourteen and pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in tandem with a love for 90’s rave parties, serious wanderlust (studies abroad in Germany and England, moves to Providence, Seattle, Duluth, Minneapolis, briefly Florida and New Mexico), and an easily infatuated open heart contributed to much to sing about — mostly in the realm of love gone wrong. But things are changing, and love is abundant.
In January 2020, Mary traveled to Rishikesh, India at the base of the Himalaya (where the Beatles & Donovan studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as well as home to countless other yoga masters) to study Nada Yoga – the yoga of sound. Sanskrit mantras, lessons in harmonium, voice, and sitar (which she purchased and brought home, ha!), yoga asana, pranayama, meditation, and purification techniques were intensively studied and practiced to invite a pure vessel for deeper experiencing of sound.
The world has not always been her oyster (or lover, if you will), as she was “graced” by many painful social experiments in love and friendship, the trauma of sexual assault directly following her first Artist in Residence award at 25, PTSD and its slew of acting out. Her previous albums achingly express the learnings in early melancholy piano-poems and later a genre switch to more aggressive electric guitars, nodding to 90’s grunge.
Not one to bow to popular music trends, Mary has stayed true to her own sound, evolving over the last twenty years and about to emerge, butterfly-like, with support from her new collaboration Mary Bue & the Monarchy (a nod to the precious pollinator that graces Minnesota summers), featuring Jeremy Ylvisaker (Andrew Bird, Jenny Lewis, Alpha Consumer), Steve Price (The Suburbs, Rex Daisy, Trailer Trash), Richard Medek (Chris Koza, Lucy Michelle, Kevin Costner), Shannon Frid-Rubin (Cloud Cult, batterboy), Julia Floberg (Delphia Cello Quartet), Molly Maher (a shining star like the rest of them), Crystal Meisinger (Mary’s twin voice!), and sometimes Peter Anderson (the Ocean Blue).
A prolific songwriter with 7 albums under her belt, Mary’s music touches upon archetypal themes of the human condition: love, loss, triumph, dreams, and the natural world. A longtime student of yoga and psychology since her early teens, Mary weaves sacred subject matter into her songs with inquiries into the spirit, the seeking of deeper levels of consciousness, and deep concern for the environment all mixed into her sometimes crass, real-world hue. For the early half of 2017 Mary was an Artist in Residence at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, NM – spending time creating in solitude, along the Rio Grande river gorge and Sangre de Cristo mountains. She released her 7th project The Majesty of Beasts in May 2017 which landed on 2017’s Best of Minnesota Music lists for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and #3 in the City Pages. Mary’s long-time support of PAVSA (Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault) as well as the release of this EP was also recognized, honoring Mary with 2017 Community Ally of the Year.
“There is a curious power in the ability to view one’s life with an unjaundiced eye. It’s not about being fearless, although that doesn’t hurt, it’s about the ferocity of spirit required to accept the world as it is and move forward from there. Singer/songwriter Mary Bue’s songs crackle with this power, mixing piano and guitar, folk and pop, and redolent with private tragedy and shared elation. Her voice, described as “marvelously sultry and cool,” lends her vivid, sometimes existential lyrics a texture that is both intimate and expansive. This intimacy is Mary’s calling card. Her lyrics invite you in and you’re right there with her as she sings, barefoot in the sand or walking along the Mississippi, heart pounding from your chest, letting go, hanging on, vibrant, alive. She brings you into her adventures, trials, and triumphs through her lyrics, and keeps you engaged with melodies you’ll find yourself humming to yourself long after the music has ended.” – Aaron Richner
Mary describes her own work as the retellings of adventures, mishaps, and pains-in-the-ass. Which is simply to say that through her experiences touring the country, studying yoga from in Seattle, attaining a Bachelors degree in psychology and falling in and out of love, she has a lot of wisdom to retell. The songs are a map she has drawn through the depths of the ocean of human experience; and even though the lyrics are often pulled from secret, dark places, Mary’s presence is a positive one, full of laughter and light. – Amy Clark, KAXE
An accomplished recording artist and touring musician, Mary’s 6 studio albums manage to capture her electrifying stage presence. Mary’s last three albums were 100% fan-funded via Kickstarter. She has been awarded the “Escape to Create” Artist in Residence in Seaside, FL, and the Big Cypress Nature Preserve Artist in Residence in Ochopee, FL. Over many years, 44 states, hundreds of thousands of miles and countless venues from tiny coffee shops to large outdoor festivals, Mary has shared the stage with many talented musicians, including Shawn Colvin, Charlie Parr, Erin McKeown, Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde), Emm Gryner, Kathleen Edwards, Alan Sparhawk from Low, Marissa Nadler, Rose Polenzani, Jess Klein, Sarah Borges, Mason Jennings, HALEY, Jack Johnson, Vetiver, Cory Chisel, Nicole Atkins, Jeremy Messersmith, Anaïs Mitchell, Audra Kubat, Vandaveer, Chris Bathgate, Chris Trapper and too many more to list here.e.
In 2014, Mary was awarded a career development grant from Arrowhead Regional Arts Council (ARAC) with the proposal to stretch & challenge her skills and release an album on her second instrument, the guitar (piano being her first instrument). The result was 2015’s “Holy Bones” deemed “Highly recommended” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Also in 2014, Mary won a full day of recording at Nashville’s Welcome to 1979 Studio. In 2016 she cashed in on that prize and recorded “Majesty of Beasts” a four song EP released on vinyl in January 2017. Amidst all of the music stuff, a few years of touring + gigging full time, Mary moved to Minneapolis in May 2016 to open a yoga studio – Imbue Yoga which saved her life in many ways but she ultimately decided to close to persue her music passions, teach yoga for the love of teaching, and expand her music lesson offerings (beginning piano, guitar, and ukulele).