Mary Jo Curry
From her time over a decade ago as one of the most popular female theater performers in the area to her transition into a nationally known blues singer and songwriter, Mary Jo always brings her consistent professionalism, undeniable musicality and emotive voice to every performance, and that’s why folks say she’s the best around town. Her natural raw talent shines through with each perfectly placed note, but she also did some formal training to better herself, studying as a classical pianist and earning a degree from Illinois State University in theater and music.
Mary Jo did a stint with a classic rock band and worked with a professional theater company before coming home to blues music. Her first record, Mary Jo Curry, produced by Springfield resident and international blues performer James Armstrong in 2016, became a popular album on the radio, receiving considerable attention on Australian and American blues charts. She scored some cool gigs and festival appearances from exposure attained by the radio play (she had three songs in the top 10 on the Roots Music Report blues charts at one time) and made a good little splash on the overall big scene. During this time she was chosen as the 2016 Blues Artist of the Year at the Kankakee Area Music Awards and the Prairie Crossroads Blues Society selected her CD to represent the Champaign-Urbana blues organization in the Best Self-Produced CD competition hosted by the Blues Foundation in Memphis.
Currently she performs regularly in the area as a duo with her husband, guitarist Michael Rapier, while also bringing in the rest of the MJC Band (Rick Snow on drums and Chris Rogers on bass with added members Brett Donovan on keys and Brian Moore on sax) whenever the gig requires her to lay on the full sound. As you are reading this, plans are in the works for another CD release from this very talented (and really nice) singer of the “Best” blues.