In Bloom

Singer-songwriter Mary Dolan — a fixture in the San Diego music scene in the ’90s — was off the local radar for several years.

“Our son Jack was born in November 2004, the day before my Little Flowers CD release,” says Dolan, “and I continued to play out during his first year or so. I was also working at a library and taking classes part time at City College, and I was just burning out on everything, really. Something had to give. I really lost inspiration and drive and, for the most part, gave up the music.”

After receiving a promotion at the library in 2007, Dolan became ill and was in and out of hospitals through early 2008. “While recovering, I rediscovered the necessity of music in my life and in the lives of others, and I became reacquainted with creativity as a part of my spiritual path. During this period of recovery, I wrote the songs for the In Bloom CD [released September 2008]. It’s a homegrown and deeply personal collection of tunes, and musically…it’s a pretty big departure from my past recordings.”


1. Living Now, Dying Later by Destructo Bunny. “This stuff is amazing and fresh and always gives me a lift. You might not figure me for a fan of rap, but this guy is genius and brilliant when freestyling live.”

2. Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi. “It’s getting to be the time of year for choral music, and I love this particularly bold, brave, bombastic approach to glorifying the good in life. Yeah, I’m the dork with headphones walking down the street while conducting an imaginary choir.”

3. Heaven Tonight by Cheap Trick. “I’m digging this trip down memory lane right now. This was the first record I ever bought with my own money — yard-work earnings. I got it at the Tower Records on Sports Arena Boulevard, which was heaven to a 13-year-old. By re-listening I get to relive the memories and enjoy the creativity of a classic pop-rock band.”


1. Amadeus. “It’s so well acted, the score is unapproachable, and I love how it depicted the one and only Mozart in a very human light.”

2. Jackass: The Movie. “For anyone who ever thought that boys do the dumbest things, this is proof.”


“The Beatles. Some of my best childhood memories are related directly to the Beatles, so that’s kind of a natural for me. My older siblings were listening to them, and I can remember completely tripping out and getting shivers over the harmonies on ‘Drive My Car.’ When I started playing music myself, I began to recognize their genius, versatility, and impact on all popular music. No one has ever come close, as far as I can tell.”


“I think Paul had more in the way of natural musical talent — where would some of those songs be even without those bass lines? However, John was the more gifted intellectually. He was the visionary.… If I had to choose an album from their solo careers, it would be McCartney’s Band on the Run. Go figure.”


“I don’t subscribe to any magazines but do occasionally pick up What Is Enlightenment, Shambhala Sun, and O for inspiration.”


1. Facebook. “I’ve been having fun catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. I got hooked on the game Scramble there, too, when someone challenged me to a match. Facebook is like MySpace simplified. It loads quickly and gets right to my friend updates, which is really what I want.”

2. RoadsideAmerica.com. “I used to visit this site a lot when I was on the road. I still check it out when I’m going on a road trip with the family. It touts itself as ‘Your online guide to offbeat tourist attractions,’ and it really is. I’ve been to the center of the earth, seen the world’s largest building shaped like a teapot, and visited a glass tree farm. You just never know what treasure may be hidden on some side road when you’re on your way from point A to point B.”


1. “Facebook, when I should be doing something else.”

2. “True Blood on HBO.”

3. “Cheese sandwiches in the middle of the night.”


“My little sister entered me in a contest to go for a limo ride, meet Alan Hunter of MTV, and see a Pretenders concert. I won and brought some friends who were mega Pretenders fans, and of course I brought my little sister.”


“Diet Coke.”

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