Tony-nominated actress Mary Bridget Davies (A Night with Janis Joplin) chatted with Markos Papadatos about her new album “Stay With Me: The Reimagined Songs of Jerry Ragovoy.”
Davies will release this album of compellingly reimagined songs by the legendary songwriter and Grammy award-winning producer Jerry Ragovoy. The album is dedicated to Davies’ late sister, who tragically took her own life. Broadway Records will release the studio album, in digital and hard copy versions, on Friday, March 20, 2020. “Jerry Ragovoy’s widow and I met during my time on Broadway, and we became friends. She approached my management to record and interpret Jerry’s songs, and then she opens the vault, and all of these amazing songs are sitting there in various forms,” she said.
She continued, “It was literally like finding a treasure chest and picking the songs that we loved the most. Getting to arrange and modernize them was super cool. Jerry Ragovoy was such an amazing songwriter, and he had so much more to say and we are going to continue his legacy. Get ready to hear real rock and soul music.”
“I felt that I could pay a tribute to my sister with this album because she was the sweetest, most beautiful person. This is what I’ve done my whole life: I’m a performer and she supported me my whole life,” she said. “I wanted to make sure that my sister was honored in this process.”
She will be launching a national tour in an effort to promote the album, with a show at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on March 18. “That is a thrill. I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but anytime you can play the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a big deal,” she said. “This show is going to be so exciting.”
Davies was nominated for the Tony Award for “Best Lead Actress in a Musical” for her stellar portrayal of rock legend Janis Joplin in A Night with Janis Joplin. “That is a fun show and I am performing it in Austin, Texas, these days,” she said. “The nomination is a huge honor in itself since you are competing with all of the shows that came out the entire season.”
On being an artist in the digital age, she said, “It’s fantastic. We are so used to getting things immediately. With technology, people can buy the new Mary Bridget Davies album without leaving their house. I am super pumped about that.”
Davies listed “Ball & Chain” as her personal favorite Janis Joplin song to perform live since it’s bluesy and it gives her the freedom to do many things with it vocally. She also shared that she loves performing “Cry Baby” in her show A Night with Janis Joplin.
For young and aspiring musicians and actors, she said, “Don’t try to be like anybody else since they already exist. It might take a little bit longer but be authentic to your own sound.”
On the title of the current chapter of her life, Davies revealed, “Mom.” “I have a two-year-old son,” she explained.
Davies defined the word success as “peace and stability.”