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Mariah Dawn Shepherd & the Covert Dragon - Music Interview

Hailing from Southwestern Indiana, Mariah Dawn Shepherd & the Covert Dragon offer a friendly, fun and easy-going musical experience. Touring throughout North American, they playfully perform songs from their five album releases. Performances and songs are delivered with wholesome storytelling flare and heartwarming authenticity.

Mariah's debut album ‘Equivocal Dreams’ was released in 2012, next with the Covert Dragon was their 2016 release ‘Woodsy Mushrumps’ along with Randy's solo album titled 'Randall of Greenwood: Regeneration' and 2017 release 'A Date With Myself' followed by their newest 2019 release 'Beyond The Smokey Mirror' recorded in Minnesota at Rhythm Priest Studios. Mariah is now preparing a whole slough of new songs to be recorded on her newest albums with the Covert Dragon. For three years from 2016 to 2019, Mariah Dawn Shepherd & the Covert Dragon successfully toured throughout the United States from coast to coast and parts of Canada performing theaters, festivals, house concerts and a little of everything in-between. Mariah Dawn Shepherd & the Covert Dragon's music has been played throughout the world on various radio stations, most notably in England (Damh the Bard's podcast).

What is your earliest memory of music? And, how did you get started in music? My earliest memory of music is sitting in front of my Dad listening to him play guitar for me and my other siblings when I was a wee bit. All memories I have of him playing music are bright and pleasant. I started young in music by my Dad's influence; he played guitar so I wanted to follow his example and play guitar as well. It blossomed into something lovely from that point on.

What was the first song you ever wrote? What or who inspired you to start writing music? The first song I ever wrote was my song, Evergreen. I was 17 years young at the time. I remember sitting on my then alleyway stoop as early evening was approaching. I had my guitar with me and started messing around with some chords that eventually turned into a nice melody. I had my notebook with me and let the words write themselves on the pages. I consider every song a gift from the Muses. Evergreen is a love song, ultimately. It's about the cosmic romance between all forces that help creation thrive and live on in all good ways. I was initially influenced to begin songwriting several years ago by Randy Widick, the Covert Dragon. The kind of beautiful music that he wrote and also his very musical family had a profound impact on me.

Do you play any instruments? If yes tell us about it. If not, do you work with a band or studio musicians? Do you produce your tracks or work with a producer? I consider myself a humble multi-instrumentalist who is open to learning and growing. I primarily play acoustic and electric guitar and find myself enjoying my hand at other instruments like the bass guitar, bouzouki mandolin, different types of percussion like hand-drums/shakers/rattles/bells, and my new favorite - the gut bucket, which is using a five gallon bucket, broom handle, clothesline string and wooden two by four prop to produce a one-stringed bass. In the past, I've had the pleasure of independently producing my own tracks. Recently, I greatly enjoyed working with a studio engineer and producer via Rhythm Priest Studios in Finlayson, Minnesota on my newest album, Beyond The Smokey Mirror.

What is your favorite part about being an artist (performing, recording, writing, playing)?

My favorite part about being an artist is experiencing the gifts of joy that creating and sharing music brings. I love how music can bring about such tremendous power to move and change the world, no matter what background you come from. I choose for the better. It's great fun to meet and collaborate with other artists. As a touring musician, I find so much delight in experiencing new people and places. I've found that when I carry my guitar with me in public spaces, barriers seem to dissolve between people. The music helps bring out the best in others. Certainly, I'd say that it means the most to me as an artist to see others lives improving simply by the music we share.

Do you have any advice for young women pursuing music?

The advice and words of wisdom that I would share with young women who are pursuing their dreams is this: You have the power of all creation inside of you. Let it flow from the purity of your heart. There may be times when outside forces attempt to keep you down and stagnate you. Accept it for what it is and try not to let it negatively influence you or dim your shine. Work to change it for the better. Keep yourself open to learning and growing, no matter how much you may already know. There will be highs and lows along the journeys you pursue, find your center and be the middle-ground. Go forth in loving kindness, goodwill, patience, compassion and understanding. All things come at the right time, trust in yourself and know that no matter what, your highest good is unfolding and it will...

For readers who have never heard your music, can you suggest one or two songs to start with? For those who have never heard my music, I suggest starting with 'A Date With Myself' from my album 'A Date With Myself' and 'Everything So & So' from my album 'Beyond The Smokey Mirror'.

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