Mary and the Giant is a unique five-piece indie bluegrass band hailing from Columbia, MO. Blending a mix of folk, pop, rock, and indie influences they have created a sound all their own. With delicate but powerful guitar parts, tight fiddle solos, and a backbone of bass and cajon, they lay out a perfect landscape for singer Zac Fiddes to play in. They take their influences from a diverse background including bands such as The Format, Kings Of Leon, Manchester Orchestra, Young the Giant (formerly The Jakes), fun., James Taylor, The Gorillaz, Old Crow Medicine Show, Modest Mouse, The Avett Brothers, ELO, Steely Dan, Andrew Bird, Nickel Creek, The Black Keys, The Doobie Brothers, Fall Out Boy, The Band and many more. Though they play the occasional cover song, they have a battery of originals that would last for hours on end.
Mary & The Giant formed originally in January of 2009. At this time M&TG; consisted of Jason Koch on guitar, Zac Fiddes on vocals, and John Marino on bass. They had just changed their lineup of musicians in their previous band, and decided it was time to change their name and style as well. Jason, the youngest member, was beginning to find his voice on the guitar and began to quickly demonstrate his mastery of chord structures, rhythmic strumming patterns, and a knack for movement throughout his writing. John was happy to continue laying down emotive and melodic bass-lines as Zac was beginning to harness his powerful and unique tenor voice.
Drummerless, they decided to take a new direction with their music. In the spring of ’09 they recorded a demo at The Gallery of Carpet Studios in Chicago with Tyson Moore that was called “The Company You Keep”. Shortly afterwards they set out on a tour of the midwest. After spending three weeks on the road they returned to their hometown not quite knowing where they were going to go from there. After talking to a coworker about the tour Jason called Zac and John to say that someone else would be joining them at practice that night. This was Michael Scembre’s introduction to the band. This proved to be a crucial move in the journey of M&TG;, and released a whole new level of sound.
In January of 2010, they began recording for the first time as a four piece band, and released an EP entitled “Music for a Nervous Breakdown”. Recorded live in their hometown of Columbia, MO at Centro Cellar Studios by Will Reeves; it is now available through cdbaby.com as well as itunes and many other digital stores. During the year after the release of their EP, they met local musician and composer Justin Mayfield through a mutual friend. They began toying with the idea of adding him on as a utility musician, but there was some difficulty figuring out how to place a new member into such an intimate and tight sound, and there was debate as to whether a rhythm instrument was even needed in the band. As fortune would have it, while recording once again in December of 2010, Schembre found the cajon complimented their music nicely and so played it on most of the tracks in the recording. They finished recording in a few weeks and walked out of the studio with their first LP entitled “We Tend To Grow Older”. They realized at this point that rhythm was inevitable and called Justin to break the news. Since adding him to Mary and the Giant, the group dynamic has shifted even moreso into a group of brothers, and the live show has become deeper, stranger, and a lot more energetic. “We Tend to Grow Older” was released digitally on Christmas day and in hard copy on January 15th of 2011. They are now under the management of Matthew Kohler with Audacity Entertainment and are very excited about what the future holds. This includes their first full length with Home Tone Records that is currently being recorded with and produced by Wes Wingate at The Mansion studios. The new album is due to be released March 27th, 2012 and a national tour is in plans to follow. [+]