Mean Mary, or just plain Mary James, is a Florida native now based in Nashville. By all accounts, she was something of a child prodigy being proficient on the guitar, banjo and violin by the age of seven.
She's an author too and her ten-track album is the soundtrack to 'Hell Is Naked', a 'suspense-packed' mystery novel set in Hollywood which she wrote with her mother. The plot apparently combines "action, adventure, humor, and romance"; one track is entitled Lights, Guns, Action
A measure of the variety can be gleaned from the fact that a rendering of the hymn Rock Of Ages, written in the 18th century by Augustus Montague Toplady, precedes Mean Mary's bouncy La La Hoopla La.
Hell Is Naked is full of melodramatic lines like "the night pressed down around me, wrapped its chill about my head" that justifiably poses the question "Is nothing sacred?".
With over 10 million views on her YouTube channel, Mary must be doing something right. One viewer to the video to the title track (one of three instrumentals) comments: "I'll admit normally I listen to hard fast and extremely loud heavy metal music. But I have to say this tune seriously kicks ass big time!".
Well, each to his own I suppose. Personally speaking, any pleasure derived from lightning fast banjo playing quickly evaporates no matter how many castanets, fiddles and acoustic guitars are added to the mix.
Drawing freely from gospel, bluegrass, blues, folk and pop, 'Blazing' is a random combination of styles with plenty of novelty value but not much more.
Mean Mary's website