Born and raised in Johnston, RI, and a Providence resident since her college days, Mary Ann began as a naïve upstart with plenty of ambition and became a fast-maturing creative artist with a unique sound and a talent for all things visual. Immediately following graduation, and having just returned to the states after spending a year abroad studying in Italy as part of RISD’s European Honors Society, she realized how difficult it was to find a job in the arts. She took on all sorts of jobs while building a free-lance career – everything from short order cook and wall paper hanger to real estate agent and bartender. It was during this time that she met John Fuzek and they formed the duo Fuzek Rossoni.
Mary Ann was half of Fuzek Rossoni – a popular regional duo performing both on college campuses and in local clubs. Like many songwriters at the time, they tried their best to gain larger audiences by performing at festivals and opening for larger acts – River Phoenix, The Marshall Tucker Band, Jack Hardy and Kristina Olson to name a few. Their career spanned nearly a decade. They gave their all trying to gain their foothold in the acoustic scene, and in many ways they were quite successful. Yet, it was at this time that they both decided to move in different directions to pursue their individual songwriting careers. For a brief time, before going solo, Mary Ann performed in the duo Anonymous and released a 6 song EP with Hurricane, a well-known Rhode Island performer. Although the duo filled local rooms and gathered quite a large following, Mary Ann felt she needed to keep moving forward with her songwriting and recording and knew this would involve a good deal of travel.
With the release of her first solo recording, half slips and garters, Mary Ann began performing both solo and with The Rossoni Band. She enjoyed the friendship and playing of her drummer on half slip, John Orsi, and they formed a trio with Karen Riendeau on guitar. With the release of a band EP, Rossoni took the show on the road with the newly formed power trio – The Band. The venture folded when Karen and John married but not without Mary Ann getting a real taste of what it was like to work with a band.
The late 90s – Signed to Wall Street Records
Most noted for her narrative songwriting style and comfortable delivery on stage Mary Ann set foot on the path of her performing songwriter career. It was after the recording of her first solo CD, half slips & garters, when she was favorably reviewed in People Magazine’s Picks and Pans. While touring solo in the Nashville area, she soon learned that Ginny Shea of Mixed Media Promotions, her friend and publicist, was had negotiated a three record contract with the midwest label, Wall Street Music.
Rossoni made her national debut on the Wall Street Records label in 2001 and soon became an important voice on the national music scene. The Cleveland Free Times calls her a “distaff Bill Morrissey,” due to her canny blend of storytelling and country blues folk. Mary Ann has toured the country singing from her heart, singing gloriously honest tales of life in New England with a pinch of humor, and drawing creative inspiration from the very surroundings that bewitch us all. We also agree with People magazine, which wrote, “Whoever is in charge of the folk resurgence has to make room for Rossoni.” Indeed, Mary Ann’s power is undeniable. She carves edgy, soul-deep images with her lyrics, powerful vocals, and punchy acoustic guitar, weaving a web of extraordinary stories about ordinary people.
Sadly, just as she was getting started, Wall Street Music closed its recording division soon after the release of Downcity. They offered to continue to record Mary Ann’s music but would no longer be able to support her touring. So, it was at this time that they parted ways and Mary Ann produced and recorded timber and nails at Lakewest Studios with Jack Gauthier. She also, with the help of Mixed Media, promoted her own release and toured the country with her band members, the Rossonians: Jack Gauthier, Joe Potenza, Dan Hann, Paul Dube and Betsy Dake.
After years of touring nationally, Mary Ann is now back to her roots with the recent release of Edentown. She has now come full circle performing regionally and mostly solo acoustic. She still says, “It’s all about the song,” and remains very active in the songwriting process. She is a two time chair and founding member of the Rhode Island Songwriters Association. Now in its twenty-fifth year, RISA has over 140 active members. To this day, Mary Ann does not record a song without first running the tune by her RISA critique pals.
Mary Ann also continues to seek publishing offers as well as performers that may want to explore her extensive catalog. Most recently her song “Measure My Love” was recorded by Caroline Doctorow on her Sweet to Me CD.
Along with her musical ventures, and never playing second fiddle, has been her passion to paint and draw. Mary Ann is a Rhode Island School of Design graduate with a BFA in Illustration. Her paintings, much like her music, tell a story. You can view some of her work on this website or make an appointment to visit her studio in Pawtucket, RI.
Mary Ann is an Elixir Strings endorsement artist and has served for many years on the boards of: Notable Works, The Rhode Island Songwriters Association; Stone Soup Coffeehouse, one of the nation’s oldest and most noted coffeehouses; and the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame.