Aside from the obvious items like music gear, cables, and merch, there are several items as an independent solo touring musician that I would never leave behind whether doing shows for a weekend or several weeks.
1. Cosmetic Bag in the Front Seat– My cosmetic bag contains basic makeup necessities, facial wipes, deodorant and a travel toothbrush. You never know when you might be running late from traffic or other mishaps. I cannot count how many times I have had to prepare for a show in the front seat of my car. You don’t always have time to stop by your friend’s house or a hotel.
2. Healthy Snacks– Eating well on the road is always tough, especially for an independent musician. I always like to pack healthy snacks that don’t need refrigeration like apples, oranges, granola bars, and cereal. They will come in handy when you are in a hurry. I also take plenty of throat coat tea to help my voice. A lot of gas stations will give you hot water free of charge.
3. Handheld Recorder– Now I know most people have these on their phones but I like to have a separate handheld recorder in the car for song ideas that may come up as I drive. It’s a quick and easy push of a button to keep my ideas together.
4. Podcasts/Books on Tape– I love listening to music but it can often be lulling when driving long distances. Books on tape and podcasts are a really nice change when music isn’t keeping me awake.
5. Car Lighter to AC Adapter Converter– I use these all the times if I have forgotten a car phone charger or need to do a quick straightening of my bangs before a show. If you get the 3 pin version, you can plug in your computer as well!
With an enormous singing voice that transcends her small frame, an extraordinary rock sound full of robust piano hooks, and a one-of-a-kind storytelling ability drawn from a remarkable and emotional history, Mary Jennings has carved out her own unique niche in the industry by doing things her way.
Mary has organized a number of extensive tours as well, opening for artists such as Jeffrey Gaines, Mike Doughty, Teddy Geiger, Ryan Cabrera, and Rachel Yamagata, and she has appeared at several major festivals including CMJ and South by Southwest. She often treats fans to a unique stage set-up when performing on her own, prominently featuring a loop pedal that she uses to effortlessly layer rhythmic beats and beautiful background harmonies over her unmistakably unique piano playing and vocals.
To hear more from Mary, you can purchase a CD here. She currently has no tour dates listed, but be sure to buy concert tickets when they become available.
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