The Mary Wiles Show
National award winning songwriter, vocalist, performer and multi-instrumentalist.
Mary Wiles, a native Seattleite, started her piano lessons as a little girl… as soon as she could say the alphabet! Soon after that she was started on a child’s size violin, playing in orchestra at school. She had 9 years of classical training, with many of her lessons taught by a teacher who held the first chair in the Seattle Symphony. Wiles began playing the guitar and harmonica in the 7th grade. As a teen she would practice her harmonica walking down the railroad tracks in North Seattle. During this time she started songwriting, and many of her songs were featured in the bands she performed in. Wiles was privileged to hang out with some of Seattle’s great musicians of the time, learning riffs and performing with them in many country, rock and gospel bands. During those early years she began studying and performing banjo and mandolin. The next bluegrass band she joined literally threw her a beautiful vintage Gibson mandolin, being told by the band members to learn quickly, as she would be playing it on stage with them at the Darrington Bluegrass Festival the following Saturday!
After playing in multiple bands along with a fruitful solo singer-songwriter career, Wiles decided to form her own band, the Mary Wiles Show.
This entertaining, family oriented, Barbara Mandrell style show became quite popular, and Wiles was able to perform extensively. Being able to bring the house down with favorites such as “The Orange Blossom Special” (violin), “Dueling Banjos”, “Hot Rod Lincoln’ (blues harmonica), and her heart touching and entertaining original songs, she quickly reached popularity and acclaim.
In addition to being able to play the banjo, violin, blues harmonica, mandolin, guitar and keyboards, Wiles has won a long list of songwriting and vocal awards, including awards from Billboard’s Songwriting and Vocal competitions.
Wiles’ original songs display a special ability to craft memorable masterpieces that speak to peoples’ hearts and inner needs.
In the secular world, Wiles has performed at the Goodwill Games and Expo ‘86. She has also opened for Loretta Lynn, country star Tracy Byrd, the 60’s hit making group, “The Association”.
She has been a featured artist at almost every fair in Washington State, including one of the nation’s largest fairs, the Puyallup Fair. After a grueling audition against 150 songwriters, she was one of only a few chosen to perform her original songs in Nashville at the notorious and elite Bluebird Cafe. Wiles was honored to perform her show at a National Political Convention to thousands of people when opening for Loretta Lynn. Wiles was one of only three artists chosen from Washington State to perform on a grandstand stage for the “Best of the Northwest’s Artist Showcase“. In her show’s early years she won first place in the “Battle of the Country Bands“, competing against ten excellent bands from the region.
In addition to being repeatedly compared to Barbara Mandrell because of her excellent musicianship and ability to play six instruments in her shows, Wiles has been rated by the press as one of the top women performers in the Pacific Northwest’s music scene.
In the gospel world, Wiles has opened for national acts such as Annie Herring of group “2nd Chapter of Acts”, Bob Bennett, Freddie Fields of the 70’s group ‘Lovesong’, and the comedy act, “Isaac Air Freight”. Her song “A White Horse” was featured on the “In His Majesty’s Service” album, released on the MRC label with international distribution and airplay.
Wiles’ most recent CD of her original songs is an inspirational rock and country pop album, “Why Not Take a Chance”.
It was mixed in Nashville and released on the Bluetail Records label with international distribution from STL of North America. Two of the songs on this CD have already won songwriting awards.
Four radio singles from this album rode high on several top 10 Christian country music charts for four years, showing a tremendous amount of radio airplay. The last single, “Waymaker”, traveled all the way up to #2 on the radio charts.
Wiles’ other original music album, “Wrong Side of Town”, is a collection of country blues, folk and rock songs on which she again played almost all the instrumentation. One of the songs, “Play it Like Grandpa Plays”, a story of how her grandfather taught her to play the violin as a child, won a songwriting award from Billboard.
Wiles is presently in the studio working on her new original album. This album will again highlight her excellent musicianship, award winning songwriting and vocal skills. The release date is to be announced soon.
Why Not Take a Chance review: Sound/Style: bright, slightly rootsy country-pop
()—… In addition to her undiluted country, pop and blues influences…. she’s a well respected and very busy entertainer on the Northwest U.S. circuit, satisfying all ages with a mix of rock and country standards and wowing crowds with her expertise on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, harmonica, banjo and keyboards. Her experience as a seasoned stage veteran fairly screams out from her pop-gospel record Why Not Take a Chance, which displays her songwriting strengths alongside her impressive musical skills….
Though full-blown and impressive entertainer inside Mary Wiles sometimes threatens to overshadow her messages, that’s hardly something to complain about if you’re a fan of engaging and uplifting pop and country music. If you are, then you’ll likely agree with the question she poses on Why Not Take a Chance. Steve Morley