Mary Sarah—Comfortable Alone

Debuts new single "Without You"

© Katie Kauss—used with permission

Since Mary Sarah's performances on the TV talent show The Voice last year, the 22-year-old Texan is known to a greater audience. But unlike many of her co-contestants, she wasn't just a new face in the music business and with her tender age could already look back on a career spanning over a decade. With "Without You," she now premieres her first single after the TV contest. 

Born in Oklahoma, raised around Houston, Mary Sarah started to sing in church when she was about nine years old. Sensing a huge talent behind her voice, her parents allowed her to take vocal lessons and she started to tour regularly the rural environment with all its smaller versions of the Grand Ole Opry, simply the Texas Opry Circle. Getting into her teens, she ventured out west for a development deal and was almost immediately signed by Kidz Bop. A sixth-month tour—mostly on the East Coast—followed and helped the young lady to gain more experiences. 

After her return, back to Texas, she was taken under the wing, of the late great singer/songwriter and producer Freddy Powers. He was an old friend, houseboat neighbor, and songwriting partner of Merle Haggard and songs like "Natural High" and "A Friend In California" were penned by him. And to no surprise, some of his musical influences made it all the way into the latest single by Mary Sarah "Without You."

She released the first album CRAZY GOOD when she was fifteen and three years later caused a sensation in traditional country music circles when she followed up with BRIDGES. That album was a heartfelt collection of old country standards, done as duets with the original singers of said hits. And even though Powers with all his connections may have helped her in getting some of her duet partners, it was her voice and her talent that made it possible to duet with everyone from the late Ray Price on "Heartaches By The Number," Lynn Anderson on "Rosegarden," Merle Haggard on "The Fightin' Side Of Me," and her mentor Powers on "All I Want To Do Is Sing My Song," to the still living legends like Willie Nelson on "Crazy," Vince Gill on "Go Rest High On That Mountain," Ronnie Milsap on "What a Difference You've Made In My Life," Dolly Parton on "Jolene," Tanya Tucker on "Texas, When I Die," Oak Ridge Boys on "Dream On," Big & Rich on "My Great Escape," and even with Neal Sedaka on the lush "Where the Boys Are." With a solo performance of that last song, she sang herself into being accepted for The Voice

The late Ray Price with Mary Sarah

Finishing fifth in TV competition The Voice, she sure garnered some new fans, as the average 400k video streams per performance on YouTube attest. But let's go into the present; last week, Mary Sarah had a new gift to herself and to all her fans, when she released her newest single, the first since The Voice, "Without You." Releasing the new tune on her 22nd birthday, she used the hashtag #77seventeen. "Without You" is a co-write between Gospel songwriter and producer David Garcia, Bart Butler (Jon Pardi's current single "Heartache On The Dancefloor"), and former Dreamworks recording artist Mike Walker. 

And it easily bridges tradition with newer forms: Despite a low-profile, restraint bluesy arrangement with some jazz strains,  the sweet use of a traditional steel guitar sets some differentiation. And as traditional as break up and heartbreak songs are, "Without You" goes from lament to self-assuredness. While in the first verse the black mascara may still stain the pillow covers at the end of the musical journey, the protagonist is ready to face the world again and to go paint the town. Comfortable to be alone, fine with being "Without You." 

Written out of her own experiences, Mary Sarah was quoted in the press release: 

“The beauty of the poetic words is that finding yourself through a broken relationship is a very empowering thing to do.”

Her singing approach is honest and shows self-determination to move on and evokes a little bit of the late Amy Winehouse. I'm sure mentor Freddy Powers is smiling somewhere and proud he can be of his former "student." Now we can only wish that the few forces that remain and have say on what's on the radio and what's not, actually will put that single into rotation, not only does Mary Sarah deserve to be heard, but her fans deserve to listen to her over the airwaves. 

Lyrics:

You left a mark on my heart that I never thought would go away

I cried so hard in the dark I stained my pillow case

Mascara Black, wishin' you'd come back, but that was yesterday

But what a waste

Yeah I'd never thought I would, but baby I'm all good without you

I've got a move on, new song that I'm singing to

I've got a throwback, come back, step in my groove

I've got these going out paint the town red pair of shoes

You bet I do, jokes on you

No, you never thought I would, but baby I'm all good without you

Without you, I got room to breath

I'm finding who I am

I finally had time to see that you just ain't the man

That I thought you had seemed

You're just not all I cracked ya up to be

Yeah, I never thought I would, but baby I'm all good without you

I've got a move, on new song that I'm singing to

I've got a throwback, come back, step in my groove

I've got these going on, paint the town red pair of shoes

You bet I do, jokes on you

No, you never thought I would, but baby I'm all good without you

Yeah I never thought I would, but baby I'm all good without you

I've got a move on, new song that I'm singing to

I got a throwback, come back, step in my groove

I've got these going on, paint the town red pair of shoes

You bet I do

No, you never thought I would, but baby I'm all good without you

No, you never thought I would, but baby I'm all good without you

I'm good

"Without You" - Live - WSMV Channel 4 in Nashville

Her new single is available on all digital music distribution sites. 

Link to iTunes - "Without You"

Now Reading
Mary Sarah—Comfortable Alone