This Friday, Mary Domito's Double-M/Taos Brand and the TCA presents the Nashville-based singer-songwriter, Liz Longley at the Taos Community Auditorium.
Domito moved to Taos from the Bay Area in 2004. After visiting the year before Domito, then an executive at a large mattress company, decided to take a leap of faith and start her own business here in the Land of Enchantment.
"In those days it was just me and a delivery guy," she recalls, "I did everything."
Sleep Sanctuary, Mary's store, took off beyond her expectations and she became known to all (via her radio and newspaper ads) as Mattress Mary. Taos Lifestyle, the later iteration of her business has grown to include much more than the mattresses and bedding that earned her nickname. She now deals in furniture, light fixtures and much more; in fact one could furnish and decorate an entire home with one visit to Mary's warehouse-sized space. She's expanded to include a store in Alamosa, Colorado, and has created her own brand of luxury mattresses and bedding - the Double-M/Taos Brand.
During her early years here, Domito would listen to KTAOS and began calling in to donate to the Taos Animal Shelter's Stray Hearts telethons the radio station would host. In 2009 Allegra Huston held a silent auction to benefit her Indie film, Good Luck Mr. Gorsky, and Mary bid on (local band) Bone Orchard. When she wound up with the band, she decided she needed to create an event, her annual Dog Days Benefit was born. So was her new incarnation as a music promoter. That first year Dog Days raised $4,000-plus for the shelter. In recent years they would raise over $30,000.
The music bug had bitten and Domito continued to promote events independently until her accountant suggested it was time to create a new business entity. Mollydog Productions was born and became yet another successful venture for this natural entrepreneur.
"I love music," she says "it's the one thing that keeps me feeling alive and connected."
By bringing Dave Mason and Judy Collins to the TCA, Domito upped her game, and out of that her Living Room series was born. The successful onstage series was preempted by COVID's arrival.
"The TCA is such a beautiful and underutilized performance space," she says, " I am delighted to be working with Colette (LaBouffe) and Chelsea (Reidy), putting on these shows."
"Liz Longley is such a great talent," Domito says, "she really epitomizes what I look for; lesser-known, up-and-coming young artists."
Longley was on the road when Tempo reached out for an interview, but was happy to answer a few questions en route.
How does it feel to be back on the road and headed our way once again?
After over a year of playing online shows from my living room, I have never been more eager to see people in person! I absolutely love Taos and can't wait play a show there this month!
In 2020 you released your sixth record, Funeral For my Past, in the middle of a global pandemic - what made you release it at that time?
My latest album was a long time coming. It was written in 2017, recorded in 2018, and in 2019 I launched a Kickstarter to buy back the album from my old record label. So to release it in 2020 was always the plan, and even the pandemic couldn't keep me from waiting any longer. Plus, releasing a record while I sat at home was the only chance I had at staying sane. I needed to focus my energy on something positive.
You are a very accomplished musician - graduated from Berklee College of Music - and yet you modestly wear the mantle of singer-songwriter - can you tell us a little about your personal musical journey?
Growing up in a musical household, singing jazz, pop, country and playing classical and jazz piano, was a huge part of my life. But at 14 years old, I fell into writing my own songs and knew immediately it was what I wanted to do forever. I heard Joni Mitchell's Blue and felt like I found my compass. If there's an acoustic guitar, a great lyric and a beautiful melody, I'm all in. So I proudly wear the title of singer-songwriter in hopes to follow in the footsteps of my heroes … like Joni, James Taylor and Patty Griffin.
You live and work in the songwriter mecca of America - Nashville - how has that city impacted your music and in particular, your songwriting?
Living in Nashville has certainly shaped my songwriting. While I grew up writing music alone in my bedroom, this town revolves around co-writing. I've stepped out of my comfort zone and written with other musicians since I moved here in 2011. There's so much to learn from collaborating. I've explored genres I may not have while writing songs for other artists. It's allowed me to connect with artists in a unique way as we share our personal life stories when we sit down to write a song together. It's a special music community here!
You are known for your vocal range and chops - clearly you use your voice as an instrument - how do you take care of it on the road, to ensure it's in top form?
I do everything I can to protect my voice so that I can tour for years to come. Water, sleep and vocal warm-ups are a singer's best friend. Limiting coffee, alcohol and hours spent in front of blasting air conditioning units helps too.
Where are you headed next?
After my stop in Taos, I head home to Nashville for a few days to recharge before the next tour. In August, I'll be busy up in the northeast, where most of my family lives. That's the best part about my job … I get to see family, old friends and new friends along the way.