Found in Rocky Ripple: pure joy

Dateline: Thu 11 Dec 2008

The snow was flying Saturday when Rocky Ripple -- "I'm not lost; I live here" -- held its annual holiday bazaar at the funky little community center along the White River.

In between tables stacked with homemade honey, ceramics, jewelry, cool fridge magnets and "river rats" -- homemade catnip mice -- was a lyrical treasure: a CD of music written and performed by Mary Mitchell, late of the Starlettes, and other members of her musically-multi-talented family and good friends.

"We recorded it in our kitchen," said Mary, now 48, without apology. "We think it sounds great! It's just stompin', fun music..."

Indeed it is, and the songs, many composed by Mary and her husband James Asher, and performed with their son Galileo (Leo), 12, and Mary's talented songstress mother Caroline, are pure joy.

OK, who doesn't like "Go Tell It On the Mountain, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," sung in a haunting a capella by Caroline, 74, and other more quirky tributes to the season -- "Mary's Baby Shower," (written when Mary was pregnant) and "Mountaintop," written by Mary's late Episcopalians priest father in the 1960s for Martin Luther King. This is the one Mary and Jim sent to the Obama team for consideration for use at the inauguration.

If you want to wallow for a bit on memory lane, you will recall the Starlettes -- Mary, Zanna and Julie -- performed all over Indy and beyond from 1982 to 1995, including a gig in Morocco. Back then, they didn't do as much original music as they would have liked, which makes this CD all the more a gem.

Here's the update on the three sisters: Zanna, 43, still performs with her own band, Zanna Do, and lives in Indianapolis; Julie, 45, lives on a farm in Kansas; Mary performs with her family and friends and also cuts hair at Sirens on Mass Ave. She and her mom still reside in -- where else? -- Rocky Ripple. That's where the talent is from on this CD; besides those already mentioned, performers include friends "PJ Lainey Stevie Faith and JR." Mary thanks them all, and praises pal PJ as "a fine, fine musician" who sings and plays guitar.

Anyhow, the CD is a hoot, and the price is right -- $5.00. If you want more info on this "Rocky Ripplin, Booty Kickin, Holly Jolly Christmas" recording, contact Mary at She can get you copies.

Also, watch this spot: Mary and Jim are going to hook up with You Tube soon, so look for a post with that link.

And peace on earth...good will towards RR and all people of good intentions.


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