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“Elegant” and “funky” aren’t words you’d expect to find in the same sentence, let alone used to describe the same album. But Mary Flower, one of America’s finest blues and roots performers, pulls off that feat with Bywater Dance. A singer with a springwater-clear voice and an accomplished fingerstyle guitarist who also plays flawless lap slide, she reaches to the deepest roots of American roots music for her Yellow Dog Records debut.

Bywater Dance brought Mary to a steamy district just downriver from the French Quarter, where her masterful guitar was joined by some of the Big Easy’s finest – Henry Butler, Jon Cleary and Dr. Michael White, among others. You’ll hear rolling rhum-boogie piano, moaning Creole clarinet, ragtime washboard and primally funky sousaphone, as Mary is joined by each partner in turn for a marvelous musical dance.

 The result sometimes sounds like Memphis Minnie fronting the Hot Five – neither strictly traditional acoustic blues nor straight New Orleans jazz, but a bewitching blend of both that is something new and different. Funky and folky, bluesy and beautiful, Bywater Dance is one irresistible musical journey.

Recommend this CD to a friend!


Track Listing

Free Sound Samples





Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me


Raise the Devil


Crow Jane




New Orleans Hop Scop Blues




La Grippe


Last Kind Word Blues


Terminal Rag




Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?


Papa’s On the Housetop


Hudson River Rag




Nobody’s Fault But Mine




Main Street Blues


Built Right On the Ground





Good News Waltz





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“Unfailingly sweet, hot and sassy — every track on this album has something about it that will give you shivers...  This is one of the most satisfying albums of the year.”    —All Music Guide to the Blues

“With her immaculate guitar playing and warm contralto, Mary Flower finds the sweet spot between modern and rootsy in tunes bred of back porches, parlors, streetcorners, juke joints and country churches.”  —Acoustic Guitar

“Exquisite force and hauntingly poignant vocals... while so many of today’s records fade quickly, this is one CD that will always remain a favorite.”  —BluesWax

“A standout album of 2005...”  —Blues Matters!

“A truly original musical blend...  Bywater Dance features such joyous music-making, even in the midst of the album's blues, that it's likely to lift the spirits of N’awlins-lovin’ listeners...”  —Willamette Week

Available from Mary Flower on Yellow Dog Records
(click album cover for details / sound samples) :

Bridges  Deftly melds ragtime, country blues, swing, folk styles, and hot jazz through the mastery of Mary Flower’s fingerpicked and lap-style guitar playing. The Bridges of the title allude to the many different musical genres that give Mary’s distinctive sound its own unique character.

Instrumental Breakdown Bluesy instrumental compilation featuring intricate performances from the only woman to place twice at the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship, with backing from a who’s who of roots notables.