She's a little bit country, he's a little bit rock and roll.
That sums up the marriage of Mary Lamont and Jim Marchese, a marriage made from music. From that marriage, the Mary Lamont Band was born, and the group has been going strong for 15 years.
The band plays all genres of country music, and is a three time NY Metro CMA Band of the Year. They continued their summer tour with a stop in Massapequa, performing at on Thursday.
"It's a hometown kind of thing, you come in, set up, it's a nice neighborhood atmosphere," Lamont said of performing in area parks. "People come out with their chairs and blankets and have a great time."
Dubbed the 'Queen of L.I. Country Music,' Mary started singing in her church choir in her native Canada as a child. She eventually found her way to the States, and joined a rock band on Long Island, doing backup vocals. Jim played guitar in the band, and they decided to strike out on their own, doing country.
"I'm a country girl, a real hick," Lamont jokes. "[Country] just fit."
The Mary Lamont Band plays a mix of original and cover tunes, sometimes changing up the setlist on the fly, depending on the crowd. Requests? Not a problem. A dancing audience? They have upbeat tunes for that too.
The group plays at clubs, parks, and even libraries across the area. They also have a few dates on the Jones Beach boardwalk in the coming weeks. They have their supporters as well.
"I've seen them many times, and support them every place they go," said Peter Gong of New Hyde Park. "Mary is very good, she's won a lot of awards for best singer on Long Island."
Mary feels country music is making a comeback on the Island. An occasional co-host of a country show on Stony Brook's WUSB, Mary will be hosting her own monthly show there, starting in the Fall. Another station, WJVC in Suffolk is trying to get FCC approval to boost their signal.
For now, the Mary Lamont Band will carry the country music flame wherever they play, and Mary credits the fans for keeping her band going strong for 15 years.
"The people are wonderful," Mary said. "It's so gratifying to me to be able to bring an hour and a half of good feelings and happiness to the people here on Long Island."
Check out where you can see the Mary Lamont Band perform at www.marylamont.com.