30A Songwriter Radio Presents
Introducing Mari Gleason: Farm Girl Turned Songbird
By Josette Rhodes
Here at 30A Songwriter Radio we offer a platform for musicians to be heard. From our Tuesday night Open Mic, to our interview performances, to our Friday Night Originals, we have had the pleasure to hear and support nearly 1,000 musicians. From beginners to seasoned professionals, we have heard it all. And while we enjoy what we do and are honored to host this immense array of talent we cannot help but have some favorites. At the top of my list you will find Mari Gleason. When I asked Mari where her love of music came from she answered, “I grew up in the north end of the county on a farm. My dad loved music and shared that with me. He would put on records in the mornings. I would wake up to The Beatles and Bob Dylan. I was always singing as a kid. No matter what I was doing. My family loved music but no one played an instrument.” The turning point for Mari came as she began to spread her wings. “Once I got to college I had a professor who encouraged me to learn an instrument. He said it was the only thing stopping me from doing this professionally. I didn’t believe him at all but I bought a ukulele and hit youtube [for some lessons] anyway. After I left school, I took a two month backpacking adventure. Once I got home I thought to myself “why not at least try?”; I was feeling braver after having a little independence while traveling. After that I was on a mission. I played as much as I could. I moved to SRB and started booking gigs. I have learned so much along the way and I’m sure I still have a ton more to learn. I’m excited for whatever is coming next.” While I was speaking with Mari Gleason about this article one of the things she shared was that the first place she played publicly was right here on 30A Songwriter Radio. I remember that night 2 years ago and I had no idea it was her first show. My first impression of Ms. Gleason was that of a polite, sweet, young lady with an amazingly bright smile and infectious giggle. But as she began to sing I was drawn from behind the scenes to join the audience and fully enjoy the show. Mari has come a long way in just a few years. I asked what was new for Mari Gleason Music and she had an exciting response… “My Ep Coffee Kisses is coming out on October 18th. The release party will be held at Grayton Beer company at 7pm. Dog Harmony will be there and will have dogs up for adoption. 20% of my cd sales that evening will go to their cause. Also if you bring your own dog to the event you will get 10% off of your tab. Grayton is also going to have a special beer available that night, just for the occasion! A Porter brewed with coffee beans!!! (because, ya know coffee kisses? Ha!)”
Mari will be accompanied by a full band that includes some of the top musicians in the area, Matt Miller of “The Luke Langford Band” along with Robby Walton and Charlie Buice of “I’magene.” This is going to be a great night! Thursday October 18th at 7pm. Hope to see you there!