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People Magazine – Picks & Pans

An enlightened folk-singer, Rossoni s a hearty-voiced Rhode Islander whose very personal, empathy arousing songs are reminiscent of fellow New Englander Patty Larkin….Rossoni is not a performer who has been isolated from the world beyond music. When she sings about the ardors of hard work, she’s convincing….Rossoni is able to extrapolate her personal experience into universally relevant tales. Whoever is in charge of the folk resurgence has to make room for Rossoni up in the front ranks.

The Music Matters Review

Mary Ann Rossoni’s slightly smokey voice conveys incredible depth and meaning without trying to impress you. She uses it gently, but always with character and attention to the words she is singing. She is an avid reader and this is reflected in several literary references in her lyrics. Her guitar work is impressive…Rossoni turns her affinity for ordinary people into beautiful portraits of people in moments of meaning and discovery. There is wry, ironic humor is several of the songs and certainly lots of warm smiles for the people we meet in this album, but the last song, “When I Die” is a howl.”…Rossoni manages to get into the private palces of the people we meet in her work, and presents them with the sensitivity they deserve, in songs you will remember.”

Wildy’s World

Mary Ann Rossoni – Timber & Nails, 2008, MWM Records

Mary Ann Rossoni is Providence, Rhode Island’s resident Renaissance woman. The designer, painter and musician has her hand in many pots and seems to make things bloom wherever she touches. After a five year break in recording, Rossoni returns with Timber & Nails, a highly introspective and personal collection of songs that are thoughtful and sleep, even sometimes witty. Rossoni has grown as a songwriter in the last five years, providing great depth and breadth to the material, along with the a good instinct on how deep to dive with each subject.

Mary Ann Rossoni mixes wit, consummate story-telling skills and a fine sense of melody on Timber & Nails. Pop the disc in. Fourteen songs later you’ll feel like you’ve just had a Musical Experience. Rossoni brings a heartfelt honesty and warmth that many singer/songwriters wish they could convey on stage, much less on the relatively cool medium of the CD. Mary Ann Rossoni delivers her songs with the same sort of insular warmth as Dar Williams. Starting with the title track, Timber & Nails, Rossoni calls into question her own existence and beliefs with a cutting yet elegant honesty. How does a home become just a house, she seems to ask. The song is sweet and touching and way more than the sum of its parts.

Red Shores Of France smacks of reminiscence by an old relative and the desire and inspiration that is sparked in a younger member of the family from the relating of old stories. EmmaLee displays the “grass is always greener” effect of our life experiences, and highlights the tendency at times to overstate the abilities and gifts of others while failing to see our own. Be sure to check out Wondrous Impression as well. This is an amazing tune. I feel like I can’t say enough about it and yet I can’t find the words to properly convey its beauty. You just need to listen.
That said, my favorite song on the CD is Follow The River. It’s a country tune with a Celtic heartbeat. The melody here will follow you for days after you’ve heard the song, and the positive message is both hopeful and full of a passive regret for not finding the truth sooner. Other highlights include To The Sky, Other Woman, the ironic and witty Everything Needs Fixin’ and Soft As Sorrow.

 

Mary Ann Rossoni is a singular talent. She has a warm, rich voice that’s an absolute pleasure to listen to. She writes intelligent, honest and sometimes funny lyrics and wraps them in gorgeous arrangements. Most of all she projects a warmth and personal reality that comforts the listener and urges you to let your guard down and really listen. Again, this is on CD. If this effect is at all more tangible in concert then her shows could literally be life changing experiences. Timber & Nails is a watershed musical experience, the coming together of musical and lyrical talent, a distinctive and honest performing style, and the maturity and grace to tie them all together into one dynamic, quietly earth shattering package. Timber & Nails is a Wildy’s World Certified Desert Island Disc. Put it on your holiday list. Someone you know deserves this CD.

…Rossoni has a gather-round voice that invites sympathy for the straightforward tales of hard-scrabble life… A sort of distaff Bill Morrisey, she brings a warmly feminine vision to her music, a sort of home at the end of the lonely road. Her guitar playing is exceptional; it’s nimble without off-putting flash as it curls around her voice like smoke from a campfire sing along. ~ Cleveland FreeTimes;

Performing Songwriter – Top 12 Independent Recordings “…Rossoni is obviously a people watcher. Many of her songs are sketches of the people she sees around her.There’s and old man who tends his garden and plays his violin, ‘Peace of Mind'; two young girls dream of leaving their narrow mill town, ‘Night Train'; and a working mom dreams of living the high-life, ‘Run of the Mill’. Her release, half slips & garters, mostly ballads and mid-tempo shuffles but her gift for story telling keeps the whole affair from dragging down. It’s not as sexy as the title would suggest, it’s still a comfortable fit.”

The Phoenix/Providence – Best Home-grown Music

“Though she is a R.I.S.D. grad in illustration, Mary Ann Rossoni has drawn as many pictures in her music as she has in her graphic design career. …But her real passion has been music in which she blends her smokey voice with fleet fingers on guitar to create images from her life on the road… With numerous CDs under her belt…she is recognized as a force all her own-garnering a People Magazine’s review with her CD half slips & garters. Her most recent album, Downcity, exemplifies her mix of folk and blues and it’s songs shine with Rossoni’s oft-whimisical wit and rock-bottom genuineness.”

 

Motif Music Award

Mary Ann recently released Timber & Nails, her first record in five years and her third solo album to date. Hers is the sound of a songwriter growing cozy in her own skin. Her words and music come from the soul of someone who has finally, after a long search, discovered her identity as an artist. The self-employed graphic artist and RISD graduate has long been a strong and positive force in local music, often volunteering her time and talents for worthy causes. Being “folky” is more than a style of music you fancy, and Mary Ann embodies more than being just a topflight musician and artist.

 

The Sun Chronicle

“Downcity” is her first album under the Wall Street Music label. The record balances exploration and insight, life lived and life’s lessons. Rossoni’s live performances have made her a regional hit.”

 

AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson  [-]

Changing producers can make a big difference for a recording artist. Just ask Mary Ann Rossoni, whose second solo album, Downcity, is a bit of a departure from her first solo outing, Half Slips & Garters. Rossoni is still a folk-oriented singer/songwriter, and she is still an impressive storyteller whose influences range from Christine McVie and Grace Slick to Joni Mitchell and Suzanne Vega. But this time, Rossoni’s songs (which combine folk, rock, and pop) tend to have more bite and more of an edge. Under producers Tim Rochon and Joe Sanders, Rossoni often goes for a somewhat tougher, grittier approach. While producer John Paul Gauthier went for a subtle, acoustic-oriented ambiance on Half Slips & Garters, Rochon and Sanders make Downcity more amplified. “Drama Queen” and “Conversations,” in fact, are especially rockin’ and have a lot of Americana appeal. But those who valued the sensitivity of Half Slips & Garters need not worry about Rossoni turning into a hard rock vixen; when Rossoni rocks, she is closer to Melissa Etheridge or Joan Osborne than Lita Ford, Courtney Love or Joan Jett. Rossoni would still fit right in on a Lillith Fair stage, and she brings plenty of sensitivity to reflective originals like “Rain Fall,” “Dead Limb,” and “Mother of the Heart.” For Rossoni, being more amplified doesn’t mean sacrificing sensitivity or nuance. Downcity is a fine sophomore effort, and it is every bit as appealing as Half Slips & Garters in its own way.

The Celebrity Cafe

Mary Ann Rossoni is no stranger to music, as Edentown is her eighth album and it reflects the questions that we often ask after we have been through sudden loss. With just her voice and the light strumming of the guitar, Rossoni brings an element of music out that focuses on the blend of both vocals and the beautiful instrumental sounds that tell a story through each song.

Her website talks about how Rossoni used real life loss in order to reflect on a narrative regarding the hardships we face in life, such as tragic death, and how to recover from the pain that afflicts us when we least expect. With just the sound of the guitar, it is easy to focus on the lyrics as

Rossoni’s voice on the album is simple, but haunting as the soothing arrangement of her vocals reflect the story she is trying to tell. Beginning with “No Friend Of Mine,” the song tells the story of meeting someone and sacrificing everything for him.

The next song, “Nailed Down,” has the classic sound of Folk and is a little faster paced than the previous song. Then the album takes a somber move with “Just Not Today,” reflecting on life’s simple moments before moving into “Hour of Mercy.”

With the themes of reflection on love, loss, sacrifice, and remembrance, Rossoni’s album is a beautiful work that encompasses the questions and thoughts we face when we go through different events through our lives.

Some standout tracks include “Just Not Today,” “Edentown,” “Beside My Memory of You,” and “More & More The Same.”