Mary Jane Alm – Minnesota Music Hall of Fame Inductee

IPR’s Mary Jane Alm Will Be Among This Year’s Group of Minnesota Music Hall of Fame Inductees

On Friday the first of November, the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame will honor it’s latest group of inductees. The museum, located in New Ulm, Minnesota, honors musicians who have made notable contributions to Minnesota’s musical history, past and present. Past inductees include names such as Bob Dylan, Prince, The Trashmen, Judy Garland, Bobby Vee, Eddie Cochran and Sounds of Blackness.

IPR music, songwriting, and vocal performance instructor Mary Jane Alm will be among the latest group of inductees. She will be joined this year by Leo Kottke, Lorren Lindevig, Leon Olsen, Dennis Spears and the St. Olaf Choir.

I sat down with MJ today to ask her a little bit about the honor, where she is in her career and where she envisions the future of her career.

Asked to speak in her own words about what this prestigious recognition means to her, “[the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame] recognizes Minnesota Musicians who have had a lifelong contribution to the music community,” says Mary Jane.

MJ has more than a healthy dose of humility when discussing her accomplishments. She has been a mainstay in Minnesota music for more than 25 years and has won countless of awards previous to this one, but she is still cautious in accepting the praise she so deeply deserves.

“It’s a little weird, I’m honored and thrilled about it, but I feel like I just have so many really talented musician friends who belong there before me. I still feel like I’m in my twenties. I still feel that same fire when I hear a great song, I have just as much passion for singing as I did then. I feel like I haven’t reached my peak as a songwriter. So, I basically feel like in another ten years I might really deserve this.”

When asked to account for the most recent milestone in her career leading up to this honor, she responded, “Maybe doing the CD I did here [at IPR] with Steve Hodge in 2011; I hadn’t really done a record since 1986. I’ve been working the whole time, singing the whole time, and doing some really great things, but I hadn’t done a record. That was a real tipping point for me, just making me feel like what I have is still viable and people still come out to hear me. A lot of people who have always come out to hear me still come out to hear me, which is really fun.”

Mary Jane’s first solo album (and her last one preceding “Me and the Wild Blue” in 2011) “Prisoner of the Heart” debut in 1986 on Weekend Records.

Looking to her future, “[the award] makes me feel very validated. When I look at the people who are on the inductee list I’m feeling blessed that I’m in the same company. I’m really happy that I’ve gotten to spend my life doing what I love, and I’ve gotten to do that since I was eighteen years old, and made a living.”

“I’d love to tour the world singing backup for James Taylor,” she laughs. “I’d love to do another record of all my songs. My first record was all my songs. This one I just did had some of mine, some of friends’ and a couple covers. I’m happy I did that and now I want to do another one with just my own. I’d like to be a better songwriter, and that’s what I’m currently working at.”

We’re happy to be along with you for that journey MJ and we can’t wait to see what it brings.

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