MERI ST. MARY -'I'M BACK' When I first became aware of Meri St. Mary it was through her collaboration with the late Eric 'The Rad' Yuncker, who I would rank among the most creative people I've known. This punk music partnership was the Housecoat Project and included Erol Cengiz on bass and Michel Schorro on drums. That Eric chose to work with Meri in crafting the band's material is indicative of her merits as a songwriter. Punk culture was (and is) an anarchistic, amorphous mass of individuals bubbling up through the seams of society bringing with them their skills and talents, as well as their existential angst, anger and vitality. Art doesn't take place in a vacuum, and given the space in which to perform and display their talents, as if by gravity, these fringe elements were brought together. Eric's death at the Mabuhay Gardens in December of 1985 and Meri's pregnancy signaled an end to one chapter and the beginning of another. In 1987 'Wide Eye Doo Dat' was released on Subterranean Records after Meri collaborated with Jay Crawford and Bob Bartosik in a second incarnation of Housecoat Project. After touring the United Sttes with thie line-up Housecoat Project recorded their second album for Subterranean Records entitled 'Girlfiend'. This piece of work will be released this year. Meri had an artistic hiatus that lasted into the 1990's when she was in the band Sex Is A Witch. Following this collaboration, another hiatus - lasting ten years - punctuated her public performances. Now with 'I'm Back' Meri is teaming up with Ronni Guitar, Dominique Leslie and Jay Crawford to showcase four of the songs she wrote in the post-Housecoat Project era. Though each song is reflective and semi-autobiographical, the listener will no doubt bring their own experience to the table when they hear her words. Here is an unfiltered brew of punk-folk mellowed by age and served up by one of those 'Wild Women'. Ian Webster San Francisco February 2009.
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