Vickrey makes journey from singer to recording artist

Vickrey makes journey from singer to recording artist by David Lias The journey that started with Mary Green Vickrey's childhood in Tennessee to her adult life in Vermillion today has been constantly evolving as she takes on greater challenges.

Not happy to simply limit herself to being a vocal and instrumental musician, Vickrey began writing songs approximately five years ago.

Her musical journey continues. Vickrey has moved on from being a singer/songwriter to a recording artist.

Her debut CD, Horizon Unbounded, was released last month.

People who want to learn more about Vickrey's adventures in the recording world will get a chance to meet her Saturday at the W.H. Over Museum, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. She will present a workshop titled, "CD: Start to Finish," and share her thoughts on producing an independent recording.

During the workshop, Vickrey will talk about her experiences in the recording studio, and will demonstrate, with her home studio equipment, how individual tracks are recorded and mixed to produce a finished song

Vickrey's CD contains 12 of her original songs of folk and bluegrass music. Her "true to life" songs of Midwestern family life display not only reflective songs of life on the plains, but also humorous musical selections.

"I started writing in the spring of 1996, and it was like a switch went on, and I just started writing overnight," Vickrey said. "I finished 50 songs and I probably started another 150."

The CD includes some bluegrass tunes that Vickrey wrote after joining The Gospel Buckaroos, a local musical group.

"The first cut on the CD is Lord, Help Me Get Home, which is funny, and I discovered that I could write humorous things," Vickrey said. "For a friend's baby shower, I wrote, Daddies Just Aren't Daddies in the Middle of the Night. I've got another song on the CD called Independently Broke."

One of the reasons that Vickrey began taking her music seriously in recent years is, "I didn't find very many folk musicians writing humor, and that's kind of unusual."

She calls her latest venture in music "one of those mid-life crisis kind of careers, and what's funny is I grew up in Nashville," Vickrey said. It's quick to assume that she grew up in a world of constant bluegrass and country music.

"What's funny about this is my mother was a piano teacher, and my sister has a master's in piano, and I grew up going to symphonies and concerts, and my family really didn't like country music," she said. "But they did like bluegrass."

Vickrey has turned to her father, hoping to learn of guideposts that help explain her musical journey.

"I've asked my dad, 'is there any way I could have connected with this music earlier?'" she said. "I played piano, and was in band, but I did learn to play the guitar in high school and learned to play folk music.

"But my family just didn't have connections with traditional musicians, so I never encountered that," Vickrey added.

"I played at the Elk Point Heritage Festival last summer, so I'm doing research on music of the late 17th century, and I'm finding that very interesting," she said.

CDs and cassette tapes are available directly from Vickrey at 624-2540 and at the Cherry Street Grille, Davis Pharmacy, Deb's Hallmark, and the W.H. Over Museum in Vermillion.

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