My Waking Eyes
Mardi Garcia - "My Waking Eyes" By Don DiMuccio; MOTIF MAGAZINE, PROVIDENCE, RI January 2, 2007 We're all too familiar with many of our favorite music stars and their auspicious beginnings. Elvis famously walked into Memphis' Sun Studios to record a simple demo for his mom and walked out into rock & roll infamy. Brian Epstein descended into a dank, dark, cellar nightclub and happened upon four lads from Liverpool who would literally change our world. And what of New England born singer-songwriter Mardi Garcia? Well, I think I'll let her tell the tale: "Standing on stage at about six years old and I was supposed to sing 'The Little Drummer Boy' and I passed out. My memory is somebody carrying me to the nurse's office... I think it was stage fright, I'm not sure." Ahh, auspicious beginnings indeed! Luckily for us, Mardi not only got over her stage fright, but has parlayed her penetratingly constructed songwriting prowess onto the stages of not only her indigenous Worcester area, but even as far away as Europe. Mardi Garcia's sound is subtly and yet all the while directly correlated to her territorial locale. Whether recording in her adoptive home of Tucson, AZ, touring throughout Spain during a six-month jaunt, or performing back home, Garcia's varied songwriting fodder is made up of nothing short of a geographical potpourri. 'I tried to figure out where I was going personally and musically. And when I started writing 'My Waking Eyes' I actually left New England again and went to Tucson for one week and recorded (the CD). I insisted on Tucson because that's where my musical roots are... So there was the Arizona-influence obviously, but the songs that I was recording were all written in New England, and were all a wake-up call. When I came back to New England I began to see what was really going on in the planet.' Her 6th CD, "My Waking Eyes", is as personal a journal entry as any local songwriter has committed to disc in quite some time. Each track recounts her life in song, with some breathtakingly honest standout examples. "High Times For Me" synopsizes her dubious days working as musical director for a Christian radio station, directly dealing with the prelacies of Pat Robertson, Kenneth Copeland, and the infamous Jimmy Swaggert Ministry (pre-sex-scandal days). "I left just before all that happened because I saw how hypocritical it was. And I write about it in some of the songs on this new CD." Indeed, Garcia painfully recounts her flirt with fundamentalist religion with an exacting honesty: "I'm baptized in the fire, I've turned a new leaf, I've rid myself of this guilt and this grief - You hang out in bars, unless you have wings and hide in your shell, and you wait for the rest of us to go to Hell." Another standout track "Over And Done" is brilliant in it's sparseness. "After I came to New England everything was over that I had done in the past and I was starting new. That's how 'Over and Done' came about. I started to listen to more folk. I started to really get in touch with the folk scene. I went to a regional folk alliance, I joined the Rhode Island Songwriter's Association, I started playing solo acoustic again. .. I'll play everywhere and anywhere I possibly can. That's my mission" With such purpose-driven projects as "My Waking Eyes" Mardi Garcia's lofty musical mission is without doubt distinctively accomplished.