Around this time three years ago we wrote about a song from an artist new to bluegrass, Mara Levine, and her first single in our world, You Reap What You Sow. The song resonated deeply with our readers, with its simple message of doing well wherever you find yourself, and making life better for everyone by tending your own garden as best you can.
Levine has long had success as a folk artist and jewelry designer from her home in New Jersey. Delighted with the reception her music has had in the bluegrass community, she has recently signed with Bell Buckle Records, who produced a music video for You Reap What You Sow.
Mara shared a few words about how she was able to get this video made in the midst of COVID constraints, and how much she enjoyed working with Valerie Smith.
“Valerie is a talented videographer, and we’d been discussing how to shoot some quality footage of me for several months, but because I live with my elderly parents who have pre-existing conditions, as well as my own health challenges, it wasn’t safe for me to travel to Tennessee to shoot footage, and New Jersey quarantine restrictions made it difficult for her to come to NJ. Finally, we hit on the idea of meeting at a farm close to where she travels in Maryland for her business, and I found The Sunflower Garden, a wonderful pick – your own flower farm in Westminster, MD, about 40 miles from where Valerie was staying, that allowed us to videotape.
She made the trip from Nashville specifically to shoot the video at the end of August, and came up with a wonderful concept which created an absolutely beautiful video! I am deeply appreciative of the time, effort, and care she has put into this production, which was made under such difficult circumstances, and I am very grateful to be part of the Bell Buckle Records family, who are helping me to achieve my goal of getting my music out to a much broader audience.”
See if you don’t agree that this song, written by Susan Shann, has a special charm that belies its earthy style and straightforward lyrics. There’s a reason it spent better than four months on our Grassicana Weekly Airplay Chart when the song was first released.
Mara was supported in the studio by Scott Vestal on banjo, Bob Harris on guitar, Andy Leftwich on mandolin, Rob Ickes on reso-guitar, and Mark Schatz on bass. Greg Blake and Mollie O’Brien provided harmony vocals.