Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Dog and A Digeridoo: Mary Tebbs and Leraine Horstmanshoff

Just allow for what is to be
And be and allow to be
And breathe into all of me
What is is perfect and perfect for me
– Mary Tebbs (“Then Let Go”)

Yes, I am way behind in getting Utah's amazing music events posted. Let's agree that my inner muse got distracted and fell into a ditch. It was out of no disrespect for these wonderful musicians that this post is delayed.

Two Friday's ago at the Intermountain Acoustic Music Association's monthly local concert series, I met Mary Tebbs, who along with Leraine Horstmanshoff, were the opening group, "Honey," for that evening's concert.

“Susi, you have to meet Mary!” my friend said excitedly. I turned around and there was Mary.

I smiled and shook her hand as I said, “Yes I know exactly who you are.”

My proclamation caught Mary quite by surprise. “You do?” she said, almost shocked.

“Yes, your CD sat on my desk for months,” I said. “It's a long story.”

“You have to tell!” begged Mary.

“It's a love story, well, errr, umm,” and I was seven shades of crimson while four rows of concert goers stared, waiting hungrily for a great Utah love and romance chicklet to emerge from my mouth.

Years ago, a Mary Tebbs fan and my one-time love interest left his Mary Tebbs CD over at my place long after he stopped stopping by. And … I confess I never listened to the CD either. It just sat on my desk, waiting, waiting, waiting. Occasionally, if the pile of papers on the desk got down to where I could see the desk, I'd also see the CD and think “oh I should give that to D.I. (Deseret Industries, a Utah-based non-profit thrift shop).” But I waited.

On the day I was done waiting, I wrapped up the CD, took it to his place and left it on his doorstep. And then next day he called. That call led to another call and another and another … and another chance for love that was thwarted by, well, a mysterious force of the Universe.

So imagine meeting the object of my endless CD staring, Mary Tebbs. Of course I knew her face well. Ahhhh yes. Mary is cheerfully engaging and a truly delightful part of Utah's music scene. She definitely has her own style and I am more than pleased that I finally experienced a Mary Tebbs performance.

When they perform together, Mary and Leraine are “Honey,” and how sweet it is, except for the sauciness Leraine dished out as she walked onstage. “We'll be bringing my Yorkshire Terrorist (of the canine variety) with us. I am a softy when it comes to dogs, and, therefore, I make no apologies about diverting from my music theme to write about them. But it is glorious to be able to cover music, life, and dogs in a single post. Imagine if I had set the Ed and Xena love story to music. Sigh. Just the thought. But I digress. The darling but reportedly viscious little canine ball of fur mostly relaxed and enjoyed the music, occasionally wandering around but never off the stage.

Honey's show was sensual harmonies laced with syncopation, stories of love and the occasional heartbreak, and Kodak moments as Mary and Leraine played off of each other with non-stop antics. By the time the harmonizing duo had the crowd singing to “Hallelujah,” I whispered to another friend, “this is good tea drinking music.”

“Yes, it is,” she agreed. The last time we'd seen Leraine, without Mary incidentally, was at the Tea Grotto in Sugarhouse. When you hear smooth music, you need a smooth drink, and midway through the set I was fairly certain that tea with lemon and honey should have been involved in our evening, but alas, no.

Leraine is quite a skilled flutist, with a jazzy bent to her playing. She also beat a drum and sported the digeridoo … aka natural wooden trumpet or drone pipe, which was a project unto itself. If you've been to Australia or one of Leraine's shows, you've seen one … a long pipe with a deep throat voice. Both Mary and Leraine played guitar.

Squeals emerged when the last song, “Big Titty Girl,” was introduced. This description of female shapeliness had a high school cheer squad rhythm to it and left the crowd laughing with tears streaming down their faces.

Leraine was her animated and talented self, yet again. And it was especially gratifying to look at Mary in a new light and hear what a great vocalist, songwriter, and musician she is.

Honey Set List
Life Is A Circus (by Leraine)
Beautiful Surprise (by Leraine)
Fits of Love (by Mary)
Infectious Guarantee (by Mary)
No Promise (by Leraine)
Hallelujah (by Leraine)
The Way You Make Me Feel (by Michael Jackson via Leraine)
Then Let Go (by Mary)
Big Titty Girl (by Mary)


  1. Love it! Thank you so much!

    You are an engaging and entertaining writer!

  2. Thanks so much ... your gig was great fun.:)