WITH HER UNIQUE FINGERPICKING GUITAR STYLE AND ARRESTING VOCAL, AUSSIE SINGER‑SONGWRITER MARY WEBB HAS MADE A NAME FOR HERSELF AROUND THE GLOBE.
How would you describe your style of guitar playing?
It’s folky, jazzy, mostly fingerpicking and often sparse. It feels to me like a friend and companion to my singing, rather than a wingman. It has its own character and moods – it can be vulnerable or fierce and it can be minimal or centre-stage.
The guitar I play is a three-quarter size parlour guitar and is very responsive. The subtlest change in plucking velocity or touch affects the whole tone and attitude of that moment. I have to treat it with respect, or it speaks up! That’s one of the things I love about playing it, though – using that responsiveness to emphasise different beats or notes, or suggest different emotions.
What kind of equipment do you travel with these days, and what are the strengths of your current setup?
I play and travel solo, and my setup is very minimal: I have a small Timberidge guitar and my own voice. I’ve toyed with the idea of loop stations, electric guitars and effects pedals, but there’s something wonderful about keeping it so simple. There’s nothing to hide behind, so it’s all about the music and making people feel.
Finally, what are your plans for the rest of 2018 and beyond?
After a big tour for Love Like Planets, which has recently come to an end, I’m starting to write new material again and pursue some potential cross-genre collaborations. Winter is a good time for me to slow down, regroup and make space for creativity to flow. I’m really looking forward to playing at the Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show in Melbourne this October, where Mike [Kirkham, producer] will also be presenting a session on the making of Love Like Planets. I hope I can keep making music that moves people for many years to come!
Head to australianguitarmag.com.au for our in-depth interview