Rev. Mary: One Hour Mama

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Rev. Mary

One Hour Mama

The Duplex, NYC, October 14, 2017

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Rev. Mary

Rev. Mary’s One Hour Mama was simply fantastic, breathing life into age-old songs about love — and making — it that have fallen out of circulation. Some of them were a little better-known, like “Sugar in My Bowl” and “Backdoor Man,” but others, like “Don’t You Feel My Leg” hadn’t seen much light of day this century. The common thread among them was that they were songs about sex and they were mostly written by women, some of whom had to write under male pseudonyms to get their work heard.

Mary and company—Granny’s Blue-mers—dressed in exquisite period costumes, made the songs both relevant and fun, teasing that “Don’t Come Too Soon” reminds them about men who come too soon, too late, or not at all. What’s a guy to do? Well, he’s got to follow instructions. Rev. Mary, with her tremendous voice, was in good company, joined by talented singer and world-champion whistler Lauren Elder who performed wonderful solos, like “Keyhole in the Door.” Mario Claudio, the backup vocalist, played the role of Sugarcane and he and Mary played off each other well, especially when joking about a “man they shared” who reminded them of the song, “Organ Grinder Blues.” Andrew Beall and Rachel Kaufman joined them on percussion and piano respectively.

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The group was thorough and well-rehearsed in their flawless revival of these wonderful, albeit little-known, classics. Their talents do these songs justice.

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Just remember: “You’ve got to see mama every night or you can’t see mama at all.”

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see

This Post Has One Comment

  1. chuckiepie

    I never heard of Rev. Mary before. Thank you for letting us all know about her. Thanks for spreading the word. She certainly sounds like someone I would like to get to know — and to see perform. I wonder if she knows a Granny’s Blues song which says, more or less: “Whatever You Do, Honey, Don’t Talk In Your Sleep”.

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