Mariah Shares Some Personal History
Music has been a big part of my life since I was a wee little one. My Dad used to play guitar for me and my siblings when we were kidlets, he was a fan of James Taylor and John Denver (early folk influences). This had a positive influence on me because I eventually picked up the guitar and started playing at thirteen years old. I started off playing (mostly self-taught with a brief teacher session somewhere in there - thanks to the late Greg Moore) a wide range of 60s and 70s cover songs throughout my teens and wrote my first original song at eighteen - many are familiar with it, it’s called Evergreen (before I knew Dolly Parton had written a song with that title, totally different songs of course). My first performance was for my school talent show when I was fourteen (thanks for teaching me how to handle rejection at an early age) and my second performance was at the Goodstock festival in West Virginia where I went by the name of Mariah Blue (that was a big jump!), this then branched off to me getting shows wherever I could find them - a lot of coffeehouse shows, senior and assisted living homes, as well as parties hither and yon in my mid-teens (including my Mom’s hair dresser shop, thanks Mom). I was fortunate to have a whole stew of influences to help me develop into my own musical sound, performance and style. Some big influences were 60s folk/folk rock/psychedelia, 70s and 80s soft and hard rock, 60s and 70s english folk rock, punk rock, grunge, and modern day sounds - basically to say, a little bit of everything from every kind of genre (even electronic and video game music, like my gameboy color pokemon games). Local radio stations in and near my hometown would let me come on air for a couple sessions for talk and music. To our mutual benefit, I began playing music with Randy (before he was the Covert Dragon) after having met him and his family at a local coffeehouse’s poetry reading. Randy and I began playing shows out when I was seventeen and we haven’t stopped to this day. Initially, we started playing the covers I had known and loved along with a good chunk of Randy’s original music, my fire for writing original music had turned into a roaring blaze and we slowly started shifting from playing cover songs to all original music. At first, I learned a lot of technique and presentation style from Randy. At age twenty, I went out to the Bay Area of San Francisco and toured solo while living as an in-home caregiver for an autistic girl. A year later at twenty-one, I again toured solo as I lived in Boulder, Colorado - again as a caregiver. Later that year, I flew back to Indiana to meet up with Randy where we played our first festival billed as Wyvern at the Ferdinand Folk Festival in Ferdinand, Indiana - this was a big success that helped launch us into our first North American tour across the USA and Canada (which was funded by many hours of waitressing tables and caregiving ). We decided to come up with a new name and after lots of silliness and laughter, we came to our current name. Having released my first solo album titled Equivocal Dreams (thanks again for the name and song inspiration Douglas G. Toole as well as Dan Spisich at his quaint Cherry Street Studio for recording and producing) in 2012 and a leap to our home recorded albums Woodsy Mushrumps and Randy’s solo album titled Randall of Greenwood: Regeneration in 2016, we successfully and enjoyably toured across the USA from coast to coast and parts of Canada performing for theaters, festivals, house concerts and a little bit of everything inbetween. We went back at the home recording bit via our studio, Wyvern Studio, in 2017 and developing our official website (www.covertdragon.com) while taking a break from touring living in Toronto (thanks to Susan Smily) - this time with the release of our album A Date With Myself. Having booked more festivals, house concerts, parties and shows across the USA - Randy and I performed our first go at the wonderful Earth House Midsummer Gather in Wisconsin and headed down to the Southwest and up to the Northwest where more shows excitedly awaited us. While touring we mined fluorite crystals in Southern Illinois and Randy painted his nails purple with sparkly nail polish for laughs, this is where our Sparkle Folk Rock originated (and because the music helped people feel so good that it would almost seem like they were sparkling with joy). In 2018, we were introduced to our new Minnesota family at Atchingtan Learning Center via Paul Ferrise and Janette Nash. Paul recorded our album Beyond The Smokey Mirror at Atchingtan via his fantastic Rhythm Priest Studio. While in the neighborhood, we performed for Sacred Harvest Fest that year and in 2019. In 2019, Randy and I were in a catastrophic car accident while touring in Texas headed to play concerts. We were both fortunate to survive, yet we still had bad injuries. Randy broke his neck and was paralyzed, we were hospital bound for two months where he had to relearn how to walk through extensive physical and occupational therapy in Houston, Texas (where we wrecked). Our Texas family took such good care of us in that time, we will always be so deeply grateful for Amelia, Mary, Mitch and their family. Slowly, we started healing and amazingly, we were able to play a small house concert while in Bryan, Texas. We weren’t prepared for what 2020 would bring, cue the dramatic music (as if the last bit wasn’t dramatic enough). Covid took on the world and we all learned how to adapt (well, most of us anyway). Randy and I dedicated ourselves to keeping the music and spirit going by livestreaming every month and even into 2021, we have continued. We currently just played our first in-person concert, since Covid struck, at one of our favorite festivals - Earth House Midsummer Gather in Blue River, Wisconsin. Our new plans consist of gathering the many song ideas we’ve captured over the last year and a half and get back into recording a new album. We’re more than ready and excited for the music to pick back up! I'm sure I've left out more than a few details (how could I capture all the magic of this journey in one post?). For anyone I may have not mentioned, you are in our hearts and you are appreciated. We’ve befriended and met some truly wonderful people along the way, special mention to Brent, Mel and Anne. I’ve been fortunate to play with and meet some amazing musicians, too (thanks for the kiss on the cheek that one time in Buffalo, Martin Barre of Jethro Tull). To all the friends and family who have supported me along the way, I love you dearly. This journey has had many ups and downs, all of which I'm grateful for. You can find most everything related to this journey via our official website! This is my story up until now, the rest we’ll all create together.
Now you know a little more about me :-)