Mare Wakefield
Mare Wakefield
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The Story
“Every star in the sky will shine for you.” In the refrain of Ironwood opener “Enjoy the View,” Mare Wakefield might just be singing from experience. The girl from Southeast Texas went from playing Oregon coffee shops to headlining major Northwest festivals before a songwriting scholarship brought her to Boston’s Berklee College of Music which boasts alums such as Gillian Welch and Aimee Mann (two of many artists that Mare has been compared to). Currently based in Nashville, Mare—pronounced Mary—continues her upward trajectory by co-writing with hit songwriters and burning up the highways with her fourth studio album in tow.
The aptly named Ironwood radiates strength with every song, including the woman who calls out all liars in “Enough Bad Love,” the gun-toting girlfriend in “Slimeball,” and the tongue-in-cheek barfly in “Whiskey Does it Better.”
But there’s a lovely elegance to the record as well. Sparkling guitars highlight opener “Enjoy the View,” while stark piano and cello complement the title track. And producer Nomad Ovunc rose to new levels on the hushed soundscape of “Dreams Come True.” “It’s mostly bass and voice, and it might just be my favorite,” Mare confides. “Nomad does this amazing thing where he frets the bass high on the neck, making it sound like some kind of baritone harp. That tune is always a show-stopper live, and with the atmospheric synth sounds it's really gorgeous.”
Besides Ovunc, Mare gets help on her fourth independent release from note-worthy Nashvillians Joe Rathbone, Colleen McFarland and Dave Isaacs. Texas troubadours Dylan Sneed, Kristy Kruger and David Newbould stop by to put on a harmony. And the sound is rounded out by Tommy Perkinson on drums, Sari Reist on cello and Josh Fuson on harmonica.
Mare celebrates the release of Ironwood with a 5-week tour of the Western US, then heads to Holland and Germany before hitting the Northeast.
Notable Venues and Festivals
Bluebird Cafe
Nashville, TN
Tin Angel
Philadelphia, PA
Eddie’s Attic
Atlanta, GA
Club Passim
Cambridge, MA
The Mint
Los Angeles, CA
Espresso Garden Cafe
San Jose, CA
Mississippi Studios
Portland, OR
Conor Byrne’s
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
WOW Hall
Eugene, OR
Sam Bond’s Garage
Eugene, OR
The Knitting Factory
New York City, NY
Rockwood Music Hall
New York City, NY
World Cafe Live
Philadelphia, PA
Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour
Lexington, KY
Northwest Folklife
Seattle, WA
Seattle WA
Oregon Country Fair
Veneta, OR
Willamette Valley Folk Festival
Eugene, OR
Penny Lane
Boulder, CO
Kendall Cafe
Cambridge, MA
Whole Earth Festival
Davis, CA
Coffee Gallery
Los Angeles, CA
...and many, many more!
Mare’s CDs, Girlfriend (1997), Factory (1999), One Day’s Drive (2001), Take Me Home (2006), and Ironwood (2008) are receiving airplay on folk, triple A and non-comm radio stations nationwide and in Canada, Australia, and Europe.