Serious Bio for Mary Ellen Wessels

mew's Serious Bio

This is the bio I send out with a press kit. Boring isn't it?

Mary Ellen Wessels

"Big voice, big heart - Mary Ellen Wessels is a pleasure to hear."  Fred Small

With a voice that soars even higher than her six foot stature, Mary Ellen reaches out and spellbinds her 
listeners with the passion, spirit and genuine emotion she pours into her music. Interpreting songs from 
a wide variety of songwriters, her voice has been compared to Sally Rogers, Sandy Denny, Claudia Schmidt 
and Holly Near.
Mary Ellen was born in 1963 in Detroit, and got her "Mew" nickname as a Girl Scout Counselor.  
She grew up with music all around her:  her mom sings and plays piano, her sister played cello and first 
taught her to sing harmonies,  and her father whistled a snazzy medley and played sousaphone in college. 
 Among her earliest musical influences were her motherís Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul and Mary albums,
 and her brotherís collection of Frank Zappa.  This probably explains her eclecticism.  Influences include:
 Joni Mitchell,  Stan Rogers, the Indigo Girls, Pentangle, Fairport Convention, The Bobs, Pete Seeger, 
Christine Lavin, Claudia Schmidt, The Beatles, CSN&Y, James Keelahan, Duke Ellington, Emma Kirkby, 
Sheila Chandra, Bonnie Raitt, Janis JoplinÖ. and lots more.
She is a guitarist, plays recorders, mountain dulcimer, bodhran, doumbek and several other instruments. 
But her best and most unforgettable instrument is voice.  In the words of one reviewer "Her voice -- clear, 
powerful, versatile and lyrical Ėhas lent a unifying thread, distinctive colors and strengths to an impressive 
array of independent recording projects"  Recently her first solo album Current Obsessions has received airplay 
in the New England area.
While a vocal early music major at Oakland University in 1981 she began to sing at a local coffeehouse which, 
combined with the urging of a mountain dulcimer teacher, led to her professional debut at the Ann Arbor Council 
for Traditional Music and Dance Festival. Since then she has performed at an eclectic series of venues including: the New England Folk Festival, the World Science Fiction Convention, and house concerts and coffeehouses in the Midwest, England, Canada and New England.  
She moved to New Hampshire to marry Ed Stauff and currently they perform as a duo.  They have opened for 
The Short Sisters, Fred Small and Lucy Kaplansky.  Mary Ferguson of Simple Gifts CoffeeHouse says:  
"Ed is awesome on the keyboards.  Mary Ellenís voice and instruments of guitar and percussion add a touch 
of magic that is always pleasing."

Mew's voice is rich and true and always comes from her inner self,
 whether she is singing of love or banana slugs.    Judith Hayman

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