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Articles/Reviews

700 Miles Review
The London Times

At The Ceol Castle, Birmingham
UK Live Review

700 Miles Review
New York Times

More on 700 Miles
Washington Post

Blood On The Tracks Review
Philadelphia Weekly

Blood On The Tracks Review
Calgary's News and Entertainment Weekly October 3, 2002

4 Stars to Blood On The Tracks!
Rolling Stone October 3, 2002

Tracks' Leads Kortes To A Deal With Bar None
Billboard August 3, 2002

Corvette On The Tracks
Billboard January 26, 2002

Video To Mary Lee's Corvette Song Gives A Face To Domestic Violence
Billboard April 28, 2001

Love, Loss & Lunacy
Quotes & Reviews

Mary Lee Kortes is able to effortlessly toss out shimmering pop gems. -- Philadelphia Inquirer

MARY LEE’S CORVETTE  combines rodeo queen savvy and pop-rock spunk as Love, Loss and Lunacy puzzles over love’s redemptive powers and nostalgia’s cravings.
- MaximumInk.com

700 Miles
Quotes & Reviews

Transparency reigns in the songs of Mary Lee Kortes. On 700 Miles, her voice is clear, her lyrics direct and her music poised and tuneful. With flickers of wry humor, she sings about love and hopes and memories in songs so meticulously crafted they sound completely natural. -- Jon Pareles, The new York Times

Mary Lee Kortes never takes the easy way out. On her last album, the Montana native wrestled with the audacious task of recreating Bob Dylan's 1975 classic Blood on the Tracks. Kortes recorded the basic tracks for 700 Miles in her Manhattan apartment, which gives the album a pristine, personal feel. Indeed, the lyrics of the title track come from an entry from her grandmother's travel diary. That song forms the locus of the album as Kortes embarks on a metaphoric journey for Kortes, who describes finding her true voice and path after abandoning an early ambition to become a book editor. But that voice is anything but one-dimensional. The singer effortlessly skips from an earnest and injured on the starkly beautiful "Nothing" to a sultry on "More Stupider," as she debates the worth of playing dumb to attract men. The outcome is obvious, since Kortes' greatest strength is brainy, poetic lyrics that can be as chilling as Emily Dickinson or as inflamed as Pablo Neruda. Kortes has certainly traveled far and has emerged as a true original with a bold, daring spirit. --Jaan Uhelszki, Amazon.com

Mary Lee Kortes and her stellar band are back to Kortes' own artful and catchy pop-folk-rock musings, and that is a wonderful thing. Entertainment Weekly

Kortes is that kind of artist, one who's unafraid to her parameters. On the deeply felt and an articulately crafted 700 Miles, Kortes parlays her versatility into a kind of dual purpose, crafting songs that are vibrant but vulnerable, lilting yet longing. Kortes possesses the persona of the most durable singer/songwriters. Honest, direct and supremely engaging songs take hold from first hearing, imbued with melodies that resonate with both urgency and intrigue. Amplifier

Kortes displays her strong voice, as both a singer and a writer, throughout 700 Miles. Using her sweet yet steely voice, she conveys the sense of yearning in standout love songs. No Depression

Sweet and inspiring. New York Resident

700 Miles is powered by the empathic nature of singer Kortes. An engaging blend of pop, folk and country that glides over glistening hooks and insinuating harmonies, 700 Miles is the kind of album that will have listeners anxiously awaiting each new track. And there's not a Dylan song in the bunch. Knoxville News Sentinel

Emotive originality. Harp

Mary Lee Kortes ought to be reckoned a real artist.... To someone in transition, 700 Miles may well become essential — like a battered journal you're always careful to tuck into your backpack. Paste

On 700 Miles Kortes exhibits her knack for composing affecting lyrics be they wrapped around the rompo of a rock song or a sleepy acoustic guitar. Kortes' voice moves from the slept-late ppop whisper delivered on Herculetta to a haunting tone that does justice to a Townes Van Zandt track, the beautiful "No Place To Fall." Journal Enquirer

It's lucky for Mary Lee Kortes that falling in and out of love is more like a supernatural baptismal rite than a fatal car crash. On 700 Miles, her playful personality comes crashing through like a rush of blood to the cheeks. Don't let the heartbroken confessions fool you, because this gal means business — she's behind the wheel of music's answer to Stephen King's Christine. Women Who Rock

Blood on the Tracks
Quotes & Reviews

Singer-songwriter Mary Lee Kortes decided to tackle Bob Dylan's masterpiece of romantic disillusionment and wanderlust on a whim when she learned that the New York nightclub Arlene's Grocery needed someone to cover the 1975 classic for one of its Classic Album Nights. The experiment in channeling rock's greatest bard was so otherworldly for Kortes and her band Mary Lee's Corvette that they've now released this impassioned and athletic homage to Blood on the Tracks on CD. While it's tempting to compare this disc to Exile in Guyville, Liz Phair's retort to the Rolling Stones's Exile on Main Street, this is much more a mash note to the great man than a rejoinder. Kortes's strong, sinewy voice careens artfully through the 10 songs, as if she were a medium tapping into Dylan's mind, perfectly mimicking his cadence and idiosyncratic phrasing without entirely losing herself in the process. While no shrinking violet, Kortes does succeed in bringing a woman's vision to the collection, if only between the lines (she makes no attempt to change the gender in the lyrics). But Kortes inhabits a song like "Buckets of Rain" completely, giving it a guileless innocence that Dylan could never have anticipated. - Jaan Uhelszki
Amazon.com

 

It takes extraordinary bravery to cover one of the classic albums of the rock era in front of a live audience. And it takes a little foolishness to think you have something to add to a masterpiece that its author, Bob Dylan, didn't.

Fortunately for fans of both the album and New York City-based Mary Lee's Corvette, singer-songwriter-guitarist-tightrope-walker Mary Lee Kortes is both brave and foolish. She manages to turn out an album that plays as homage to Dylan and ``Blood'' without ever losing her own voice.

That voice - an urgent folk-rock alto that ranges from a whisper to a wail - is what renews these beloved tunes, refracting their lyrics and meanings in subtle new ways even while the arrangements stay faithful to the originals.

``Blood on the Tracks'' is an audacious gamble that pays off. - Kevin R. Convey
Boston Herald

 

If not on par with Liz Phair's "answer" to the Rolling Stones with her "Exile in Guyville," New York singer-songwriter Mary Lee Kortes and her band's complete, largely faithful, live take on Bob Dylan's 1975 album Blood On The Tracks offers intriguing spins simply by featuring a woman's voice. "You're a Big Girl Now," for example, substitutes tenderness for Dylan's sneer. Only a brief, cartoonish Dylan imitation by an audience member brought on stage mars an otherwise worthy exercise. - Steve Hochman
calendarlive

True Lovers of Adventure Quotes

"A true gem of a record." - Bruce Warren
Frequency Lounge

"With folks like Billboard's Timothy White and WXPN Philadelphia's Bruce Warren singing the praises of Mary Lee's Corvette, a breakout of epic proportions can't be all that far behind."
FMQB Rock

"Mary Lee's Corvette sincerely flatters indie sentimentals like Knots & Crosses on True Lovers of Adventure (Wild Pitch)" - Joshua Clover
SPIN Magazine

"The album is a complete joy from start to finish."
Songwriter's Monthly

"Newcomer Mary Lee Kortes, front woman for Mary Lee's Corvette, has one of the most compelling voices in modern rock." - Dan Aquilante
New York Post

"Sparkles with Mary Lee Kortes' versatile vocals. The songs reveal a wide-ranging musical intelligence matched by smart lyrics."
3 Stars
USA Today

"Lovely, nuanced voice and deft storytelling. From hit-ready rockers to a poignant tale of abuse, Corvette comes option-loaded."
Entertainment Weekly

"The best record of 1999!" - Jim Bessman
Billboard Magazine

Mary Lee's Music

Love, Loss and Lunacy
Beulah Rowley

Love, Loss and Lunacy
Love, Loss & Lunacy

700 Miles
700 Miles

Blood On the Tracks
Blood On the Tracks

Blood On the Tracks
True Lovers of Adventure

Mary Lee's Corvette
Mary Lee's Corvette

"A masterful songwriter"  - The Village Voice

"The bright bite in Mary Lee Kortes' voice [has] the high-mountain sunshine of Dolly Parton, with a sweet-iron undercoat of Chrissie Hynde."   - David Fricke, Rolling Stone