Los Altos singer-songwriter launches new career focused on the upbeat
Published: 05 February 2020
Written by Los Altos Town Crier Staff – Town Crier Staff Report
After 30 years in marketing for companies like Apple, Los Altos resident Mary Gospe knew there had to be “life after tech.” So she left the corporate world two years ago and embarked on an encore career as a singer-songwriter.
The result is a new album, “Time to Soar,” released in November, that already has one critic across the pond dubbing it “one of the albums of the year.” She proves a captivating vocalist and songwriter, unflinchingly upbeat – even when inspired by Syrian women refugees on the catchy “We Are One.”
Gospe, 56, may have started a new genre with what one critic dubbed “new-age rock,” an amalgamation of classic pop rock and new-age sensibilities revealed in life-affirming lyrics.
Residents won’t have to travel far to witness Gospe’s talents. She has been performing with fellow singer-songwriter Corrie Dunn under the name Song Garden at friend Carol Garsten’s Nature Gallery at 296 State St. during First Friday events in downtown Los Altos. She plans to be there again 6-8 p.m. Friday when First Friday activities are combined with the Los Altos Village Association-sponsored Valentine’s Stroll.
Gospe’s musical journey began in childhood. Her father was a musician and multi-instrumentalist.
“I grew up with my parents listening to the Big Bands, and my brothers were listening toThe Who and the Doors,” she recalled.
She took up clarinet before picking up guitar. She wrote her first song at 16. But music took a backseat as she pursued an MBA and a career in marketing.
Music kept calling and remained pervasive in her life. Gospe is still part of a musical family – her husband plays piano and her son Zach is a musician and songwriter (the Town Crier profiled him in 2013). She also took up alto saxophone and drums, and attended songwriting classes at Foothill College.
“I’ve always had a desire to write my own music,” Gospe said.
So two years ago, burned out in her marketing career and having paid her final college tuition bill, Gospe poured herself into music full time. She began performing at various social events and, through Garsten, hooked up with Dunn. Then in summer 2018, she met award-winning music producer Vito Gregoli. They hit it off musically. Gregoli worked with Gospe on nine of the 12 songs on “Time to Soar.”
A regular practitioner of meditation, Gospe finds a constant source of inspiration in universal spirituality. The song titles say it all: “Time to Soar,” “I Choose Love,” “Free to Be Me,” “Unity” and “Live from Your Heart.”
“These songs are affirmations to myself of how I want to proactively create my life experiences,” she said in a statement. “I hope to inspire others with my lyrics and my story, that at any age you can pursue your big dreams. Believe in yourself, let go of the fear of being judged and share the gifts you’ve been given.”
Mary Gospe - "Time to Soar" - The Launching of a Debut Album and Professional Music Career
January 7, 2020 – Press Release
“Time to Soar,” the debut album by inspirational singer/songwriter Mary Gospe, was released on November 15, 2019. Co-created with award-winning producer/composer/multi-instrumentalist, David Vito Gregoli, “Time to Soar ” features 12 original Classic Rock/New Folk songs that encourage listeners to shed fear and worry and embrace their authentic self with love, trust, joy and freedom.
Mary’s Musical Journey Takes Flight
Mary has been passionate about playing and creating music her entire life, capturing snippets of lyrics in notebooks, sheets of paper shuffled in loose leaf binders, and in voice memos. She wrote her first song at age 16 and has studied the craft of songwriting for many years. Yet, it took a sabbatical from her career of 30 years in hi-tech to unleash her full musical creativity. It was then that she met an extraordinary musician who would change her life: Vito Gregoli.
In the summer of 2018, at the beginning of her sabbatical, Mary was introduced to Vito by a mutual friend. The two hit it off and soon after began working on nine of Mary’s songs. Mary wrote three more songs soon thereafter. Together, they explored and expanded Mary’s unique crossover genre of Classic Rock/New Folk with New Age messages in “Time to Soar.” The album reflects Mary’s journey of becoming and embracing her authentic self and wisdom gleaned from her spiritual practice that intensified over the last five years. Her conscious songs are filled with positive, empowering, and spiritually-infused messages. Songs such as “Free To Be Me,” “Unity” and “The Black Crow Prophecy” feature Mary’s powerful vocals while the ballads “I Choose Love” and “All Is Well” showcase her angelic, calming voice.
“These songs are affirmations to myself of how I want to proactively create my life experiences. I hope to inspire others with my lyrics and my story, that at any age you can pursue your big dreams. Believe in yourself, let go of the fear of being judged and share the gifts you’ve been given” said Mary.
Vito co-wrote seven of the songs and played all the instruments on the album. Award-winning singer/songwriter Kimberly Haynes sang backing vocals on three tracks while Mary’s Song Garden bandmate, singer/songwriter Corrie Dunn, sang backing vocals on seven songs.
Exploring Time to Soar
- The first track on “Time to Soar” is “We Are One” which Mary wrote in early 2016 about a specific world issue, the Syrian refugee crisis. The arc of the song then shifts to a universal message of oneness.
- “Walk Slowly,” was inspired by a poem written by Mary’s friend, Nidhi Kaur, called “You Don’t Live for the End” in her book My Wedding With Truth. It invites listeners to slow down, expand their awareness and experience the beauty and love that is around us at all times.
- “The Black Crow Prophecy” is an upbeat rock-and-roll number in the style of The Pretenders and Fleetwood Mac. The idea for this song came while Mary was running in the woods after seeing a crow up in an oak tree. The crow, or raven, in Celtic mythology is an oracle which can foresee the future. So in the song, Mary is asking it for guidance on her life purpose.
- The title track, “Time to Soar,” is an open invitation for listeners to break out of routines or patterns that no longer serve them and pursue their biggest dreams. Vito came up with the Beatles/Gilbert & Sullivan bridge, which is a fun departure from the soaring vocals in the chorus.
- “I Choose Love” is another over-arching theme for the album. It’s a reminder to stay in the moment and proactively choose to experience peace, joy and love. The entire chorus for this song came to Mary during a meditation. It’s a slow ballad with influences of George Harrison and Vito tried to capture a bit of the “All Things Must Pass” vibe.
- “Free To Be Me” goes out to anyone who’s been told they aren’t good enough or don’t have the talent to do something. It’s a rocking anthem for personal empowerment reminiscent of Heart and Fleetwood Mac – with a bit of Stevie Winwood.
- “Pendulum” draws stylistically from The Police and Fleetwood Mac to create a fun mashup of styles. It’s about letting go of fear and swinging emotions, especially around lack and scarcity, and shifting into a place of trust and love.
- Mary wrote “Unity” on the day of the January 2017 Women’s March in the United States. It’s a tribute to all of us (men, women and children) who work together to create a better world. It’s an anthem for women’s empowerment and for equality, justice and compassion, produced with a pseudo Rolling Stones texture.
- “Ride the Wave” refers to the Universal Law of Attraction. It’s a reminder to let go of negative, stressful, low-vibration energy and shift to love and joy. Vito produced it to have a late 70s rock feel that brings to mind a lot of different bands like Little River Band, Al Jarreau and Kansas – with some modern Americana overtones.
- “Let’s Break Away” is a fun, bluesy number that Mary wrote for her husband. It’s an invitation to be spontaneous, turn off the electronic devices, break from the routine and go have fun. You’ll hear influences of Traffic and early Rod Stewart.
- “Live From Your Heart” is a song about trusting your guidance or intuition and proactively creating your life experiences. In it, Mary teaches a creative formula that you can use to manifest what you want in your life. You’ll hear overtones of the Eagles in the way Vito played on the guitar.
- The album ends with Mary’s lullaby to humanity called “All Is Well.” It’s an invitation to relax into a deep state of unconditional love and serenity.
About Mary Gospe
Mary Gospe is an inspirational singer/songwriter based in the San Francisco Bay Area who blends the Classic Rock/New Folk genre with New Age, conscious messages. Her songs are filled with positive, empowering lyrics and a strong spiritual undercurrent.
Mary performs as a soloist and as a member of the duo Song Garden, along with singer/songwriter Corrie Dunn. Mary plays at private concerts, retreats, churches, fundraising events, and in cafes and retail businesses. Please contact Mary for booking information.
About David Vito Gregoli
David Vito Gregoli is founder of Dharmapala Records and an award-winning producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist who creates genre-defying music that is fresh and expansive. In addition to Mary Gospe’s album “Time to Soar,” Vito recently worked on Merrill Collins’ “Every Man, Woman and Child – Yoga Flow Suite,” Kimberly Haynes‘ “In Dreams” and Kimberly’s award-winning debut album “Awaken Me.” Vito is now working to bring the centuries old sacred text the “Bhagavad Gita” (translated by Lissa Coffey) to the world as an album and rock opera, “Song Divine.“
Vito’s instrumental work has been featured on albums by New Age and World Music artists such as Constance Demby, Jai Uttal, Ricky Kej, Stephen Kent and Donna DeLory. His own projects have included “Organic Nylon,” “Om Land” the award-nominated album “Primordial Sonics” and Yoga Heart Healing. For more information on Vito and his work, visit http://www.vitogregolimusic.com/.