Do you tune into the Academy or Emmy Awards for who is hosting them? Probably not. So, is it a big deal that the Great River Folk Fest landed the comedian Mary Mack for the Emcee of the Saturday night concert? Yes, it is! If you have had a chance to listen to her routines on the Big River Radio Wave show out of Alma WI, you would immediately agree. Mary is one of those Midwest people you fall in love with immediately. Her travels and job opportunities take her to California many times including on Last Comic Standing and the Conan show, and sometimes she finds herself in a world of salad instead of tater tots. She gets us and she is one of us.
Mary is definitely a “folk humorist” for our northern Wisconsin region as much as Marshall Dodge was for the coast of Maine back in the 70’s. You might hear about her mom’s hats sold in her sister’s bait shop, at a state fair, or you just might find yourself in a rural bar for Taco Tuesday. She has the stories that come out in her “little girl voice and demeanor” and she lulls you in and hits you with a zinger.
Her voice and style have gotten noticed and placed into some unique animated sitcoms including Solar Opposites on Hulu and Golan the Insatiable on Fox. She likes to state she has a voice of 5-year-old and a yet a body of a 4th grader.
The Saturday night concert will include Greg Gilbertson who has won guitar playing awards from Eau Claire WI, brilliant songwriting out of Danny Schmidt & Carrie Elkin from Austin TX, Arlo Guthrie style songs of Chicago Farmer and the Fieldnotes from Urbana IL, and to end the night with blues from Annie Mack. Minneapolis.
Of course, Mary will be the glue holding them together, maybe with a story, maybe song on her mandolin, or by chance a polka on her clarinet. Sure, you might come for the music, but if you have never met Mary before, you’ll be talking about her as the best emcee you have ever seen.
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